Insights A Study Guide to the Utah Shakespeare Festival
The Tempest The articles in this study guide are not meant to mirror or interpret any productions at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. They are meant, instead, to bean educational jumping-off point to understanding and enjoying the plays (in any production at any theatre) a bit more thoroughly. Therefore the stories of the plays and the interpretative articles (and even characters, at times) may differ dramatically from what is ulti- mately produced on the Festival’s stages. The Study Guide is published annually by the Utah Shakespeare Festival, 351 West Center Street; Cedar City, UT 84720. Bruce C. Lee, publications manager and editor; Clare Campbell, graphic artist. Copyright © 2018, Utah Shakespeare Festival. Please feel free to download and print The Study Guide, as long as you do not remove any identifying mark of the Utah Shakespeare Festival.
For more information about Festival education programs: Utah Shakespeare Festival 351 West Center Street Cedar City, Utah 84720 435-586-7880 www.bard.org.
Cover photo: John Pribyl as Prospero in The Tempest, 2007. The Tempest Contents Information on William Shakespeare Shakespeare: Words, Words, Words 4 Not of an Age, but for All Mankind 6 Elizabeth’s England 8 History Is Written by the Victors 10 Mr. Shakespeare, I Presume 11 A Nest of Singing Birds 12 Actors in Shakespeare’s Day 14 Audience: A Very Motley Crowd 16 Shakespeare Snapshots 18 Ghosts, Witches, and Shakespeare 20 What They Wore 22
Information on the Play About the Play 23 Synopsis 24 Characters 25
Scholarly Articles on the Play Suiting the Fashion 26 Physical and Emotional Storms 27 A Microcosm of Behavior and Emotion 29 Prospero’s Many Roles 31 But This Rough Magic I Here Abjure 33 The Outer Show and the Inner Truth 35 The Wizard in The Tempest 37
Classroom Materials Famous Words and Phrases 40 Text in Shakespeare 42 Themes and Motifs 43 The Tempest in Modern Terms 44 The Tempest on Film 45 Elementary School Discussion Questions 46 Middle and High School Discussion Questions 46 Study Questions 47 Activities 48 Lesson Plans 50 Additional Resources 51 Digital Resources 52
Utah Shakespeare Festival 3 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 Shakespeare: Words, Words, Words By S. S. Moorty “No household in the English-speaking world is properly furnished unless it contains copies of the Holy Bible and of The Works of William Shakespeare. It is not always thought that these books should be read in maturer years, but they must be present as symbols of Religion and Culture” (G.B. Harrison, Introducing Shakespeare. Rev. & Exp. [New York: Penguin Books, 1991], 11). We, the Shakespeare-theater goers and lovers, devotedly and ritualistically watch and read the Bard’s plays not for exciting stories and complex plots. Rather, Shakespeare’s language is a vital source of our supreme pleasure in his plays. Contrary to ill-conceived notions, Shakespeare’s language is not an obstacle to appreciation, though it may prove to be difficult to understand Instead, it is the communicative and evocative power of Shakespeare’s language that is astonish- ingly rich in vocabulary—about 29,000 words— strikingly presented through unforgettable characters such as Hamlet, Macbeth, Lear, Othello, Rosalind, Viola, Iago, Shylock, etc. In the high school classroom, students perceive Shakespeare’s language as “Old English.” Actually Shakespeare’s linguistic environment, experience, and exposure was, believe it or not, closer to our own times than to Chaucer’s, two hundred years earlier. Indeed, the history and development of the English language unfolds as follows: Old English, 449-1100; Middle English 1100-1500; and Modern English 1500-present. Shakespeare was firmly in the Modern English period. At the time Shakespeare wrote, most of the grammatical changes from Old and Middle English had taken place; yet rigid notions about “correctness” had not yet been standardized in gram- mars. The past five centuries have advanced the cause of standardized positions for words; yet the flexible idiom of Elizabethan English offered abundant opportunities for Shakespeare’s linguistic inventiveness. Ideally it is rewarding to study several facets of Shakespeare’s English: pronuncia- tion, grammar, vocabulary, wordplay, and imagery. The present overview will, however, be restricted to “vocabulary.” To Polonius’s inquisitive question “What do you read, my lord?” (Hamlet, 2.2.191) Hamlet nonchalantly and intriguingly aptly replies: “Words, words, words” (2.2.192). This many-splen- dored creation of Shakespeare’s epitomizes the playwright’s own fascination with the dynamic aspect of English language, however troubling it may be to modern audiences and readers. Shakespeare added several thousand words to the language, apart from imparting new meanings to known words. At times Shakespeare could teasingly employ the same word for different shades of thought. Barowne’s single line, “Light, seeking light, doth light of light beguile” (Love’s Labour’s Lost, 1.1.77), as Harry Levin in his General Introduction to The Riverside Shakespeare (9) explains, “uses ‘light’ in four significations: intellect, seeking wisdom, cheats eyesight out of daylight.” Another instance: Othello as he enters his bedroom with a light before he smothers his dear, innocent Desdemona soliloquizes: “Put out the light, and then put out the light” (Othello, 5.2.7) Here ‘light’ compares the light of Othello’s lamp or torch to Desdemona’s ‘light’ of life. In both instances, the repeated simple ordinary word carries extraordinary shades of mean- ing. “Usually such a tendency in a Shakespeare play indicates a more or less conscious the- matic intent.” (Paul A. Jorgensen, Redeeming Shakespeare’s Words [Berkeley and Los Angeles; University of California Press, 1962], 100). Living in an age of the “grandiose humanistic confidence in the power of the word” (Levin 9),
4 Utah Shakespeare Festival 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 Shakespeare evidently felt exuberant that he had the license to experiment with the language, further blessed by the fact that “there were no English grammars to lay down rules or dictionar- ies to restrict word-formation. This was an immeasurable boon for writers” (Levin 10). Surely Shakespeare took full advantage of the unparalleled linguistic freedom to invent, to experiment with, and to indulge in lavishly. However intriguing, captivating, mind-teasing, beguiling, and euphonious, Shakespeare’s vocabulary can be a stumbling block, especially for readers. “In the theater the speaking actor frequently relies on tone, semantic drive, narrative context, and body language to com- municate the sense of utterly unfamiliar terms and phrases, but on the page such words become more noticeable and confusing” (Russ McDonald, The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare: An Introduction with Documents [Boston: Bedford Books of St. Martin’s Press, 1996], 184). Unlocking the meaning of Shakespeare’s vocabulary can prove to be an interesting challenge. Such words include those which “have dropped from common use like ‘bisson’ (blind) or those that the playwright seems to have created from Latin roots . . . but that did not catch on, such as conspectuities’ (eyesight or vision) or ‘unplausive’ (doubtful or disap- proving). Especially confusing are those words that have shifted meaning over the interven- ing centuries, such as ‘proper’ (handsome), ‘nice’ (squeamish or delicate), ‘silly’ (innocent), or ‘cousin’ (kinsman, that is, not necessarily the child of an aunt or uncle” (McDonald 184). Because of semantic change, when Shakespeare uses ‘conceit,’ he does not mean ‘vanity,’ as we might understand it to be. Strictly following etymology, Shakespeare means a ‘conception’ or ‘notion,’ or possibly the ‘imagination’ itself. Perhaps several Shakespeare words “would have been strange to Shakespeare’s audience because they were the products of his invention or unique usage. Some words that probably originated with him include: ‘auspicious,’ ‘assassination,’ ‘disgraceful,’ ‘dwindle,’ ‘savagery.’” Certainly a brave soul, he was “ a most audacious inventor of words.” To appreciate and under- stand Shakespeare’s English in contrast to ours, we ought to suspend our judgment and disbelief and allow respect for the “process of semantic change, which has been continually eroding or encrusting his original meaning” (Levin 8). Shakespeare’s vocabulary has received greater attention that any other aspect of his language. Perhaps this is because it is the most accessible with no burdensome complications. Whatever the cause, Shakespeare’s language will forever be challenging and captivating.
Utah Shakespeare Festival 5 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 Not of an Age, but for All Mankind By Douglas A. Burger After an enormous expenditure of money and effort, Shakespeare’s Globe Theater has risen again, four centuries later, on London’s south bank of the Thames. Designed as a faithful recon- struction of the original, it uses the building methods of the time and traditional materials (oak timbers, plaster walls, wooden pegs, water-reeds for thatching the roof). From above, the shape seems circular (actually, it is twenty-six sided) with three cov- ered tiers of seats surrounding a central area which is open to the sky.. There the “groundlings” may stand to see the action taking place on the stage, which occupies almost half of the inner space. There are no artificial lights, no conventional sets, no fancy rigging. Seeing a Shakespeare play in the afternoon sunlight at the new Globe must come very close to the experience of those early-day Londoners, except, of course, that we in the twentieth- century behave better. We don’t yell insults at the actors, spit, or toss orange peels on the ground. We also smell better: the seventeenth-century playwright, Thomas Dekker, calls the original audience “Stinkards . . . glewed together in crowdes with the Steames of strong breath” (Shakespeare’s Globe: The Guide Book [London: International Globe Center, 1996], 42). And we are safer. The first Globe burned to the ground. The new theater has more exits, fire-retardant insulation concealed in the walls, and water-sprinklers that poke through the thatch of the roof. That hard-headed capitalists and officials would be willing, even eager, to invest in the project shows that Shakespeare is good business. The new Globe is just one example. Cedar City’s own Utah Shakespeare Festival makes a significant contribution to the economy of southern Utah. A sizable percentage of all the tourist dollars spent in England goes to Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford-on-Avon, which would be a sleepy little agricultural town without its favorite son. The situation seems incredible. In our whole history, what other playwright could be called a major economic force? Who else—what single individual— could be listed along with agriculture, mining, and the like as an industry of a region? Why Shakespeare? The explanation, of course, goes further than an attempt to preserve our cultural traditions. In an almost uncanny way, Shakespeare’s perceptions remain valuable for our own understandings of life, and probably no other writer remains so insightful, despite the constantly changing preoccupations of audiences over time. The people of past centuries, for example, looked to the plays for nuggets of wisdom and quotable quotes, and many of Shakespeare’s lines have passed into common parlance. There is an old anecdote about the woman, who on first seeing Hamlet, was asked how she liked the play. She replied, “Oh, very nice, my dear, but so full of quotations.” She has it backwards of course. Only the King James Bible has lent more “quotations” to English than Shakespeare. Citizens of the late nineteenth century sought in the plays for an understanding of human nature, valuing Shakespeare’s character for traits that they recognized in themselves and in others. The fascination continues to the present day as some of our best-known movie stars attempt to find new dimensions in the great characters: Mel Gibson and Kenneth Branagh in Hamlet, Lawrence Fishburn in Othello, Leonardo de Caprio in Romeo + Juliet, to name just a few. Matters of gender, class, and race have preoccupied more recent audiences. Beatrice sounds a rather feminist note in Much Ado about Nothing in her advice to her cousin about choosing a husband: Curtsy to your father, but say “Father, as it please me.” Coriolanus presents a recur-
6 Utah Shakespeare Festival 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 ring dilemma about class relations in its explorations of the rights and wrongs involved in a great man’s attempt to control the masses. Racial attitudes are illuminated in Othello, where the European characters always mark the hero by his race, always identify him first as the “Moor,” are always aware of his difference. London’s new/old Globe is thus a potent symbol of the plays’ continuing worth to us. The very building demonstrates the utter accuracy of the lines written so long ago that Shakespeare is not “of an age” but “for all time.”
Utah Shakespeare Festival 7 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 Elizabeth’s England In his entire career, William Shakespeare never once set a play in Elizabethan England. His characters lived in medieval England (Richard II), France (As You Like It), Vienna (Measure for Measure), fifteenth-century Italy (Romeo and Juliet), the England ruled by Elizabeth’s father (Henry VIII) and elsewhere—anywhere and everywhere, in fact, except Shakespeare’s own time and place. But all Shakespeare’s plays—even when they were set in ancient Rome—reflected the life of Elizabeth’s England (and, after her death in 1603, that of her successor, James I). Thus, certain things about these extraordinary plays will be easier to understand if we know a little more about Elizabethan England. Elizabeth’s reign was an age of exploration—exploration of the world, exploration of man’s nature, and exploration of the far reaches of the English language. This renaissance of the arts and sudden flowering of the spoken and written word gave us two great monuments—the King James Bible and the plays of Shakespeare—and many other treasures as well. Shakespeare made full use of the adventurous Elizabethan attitude toward language. He employed more words than any other writer in history—more than 21,000 different words appear in the plays—and he never hesitated to try a new word, revive an old one, or make one up. Among the words which first appeared in print in his works are such everyday terms as “crit- ic,” “assassinate,” “bump,” “gloomy,” “suspicious,” “and hurry;” and he invented literally dozens of phrases which we use today: such un-Shakespeare expressions as “catching a cold,” “the mind’s eye,” “elbow room,” and even “pomp and circumstance.” Elizabethan England was a time for heroes. The ideal man was a courtier, an adventurer, a fencer with the skill of Tybalt, a poet no doubt better than Orlando, a conversationalist with the wit of Rosalind and the eloquence of Richard II, and a gentleman. In addition to all this, he was expected to take the time, like Brutus, to examine his own nature and the cause of his actions and (perhaps unlike Brutus) to make the right choices. The real heroes of the age did all these things and more. Despite the greatness of some Elizabethan ideals, others seem small and undignified, to us; marriage, for example, was often arranged to bring wealth or prestige to the family, with little regard for the feelings of the bride. In fact, women were still relatively powerless under the law. The idea that women were “lower” than men was one small part of a vast concern with order which was extremely important to many Elizabethans. Most people believed that everything, from the lowest grain of sand to the highest angel, had its proper position in the scheme of things. This concept was called “the great chain of being.” When things were in their proper place, harmony was the result; when order was violated, the entire structure was shaken. This idea turns up again and again in Shakespeare. The rebellion against Richard II brings bloodshed to England for generations; Romeo and Juliet’s rebellion against their parents contributes to their tragedy; and the assassination in Julius Caesar throws Rome into civil war. Many Elizabethans also perceived duplications in the chain of order. They believed, for exam- ple, that what the sun is to the heaves, the king is to the state. When something went wrong in the heavens, rulers worried: before Julius Caesar and Richard II were overthrown, comets and meteors appeared, the moon turned the color of blood, and other bizarre astronomical phenomena were reported. Richard himself compares his fall to a premature set- ting of the sun; when he descends from the top of Flint Castle to meet the conquering Bolingbroke, he likens himself to the driver of the sun’s chariot in Greek mythology: “Down, down I come, like glist’ring Phaeton” (3.3.178).
8 Utah Shakespeare Festival 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 All these ideas find expression in Shakespeare’s plays, along with hundreds of others—most of them not as strange to our way of thinking. As dramatized by the greatest playwright in the history of the world, the plays offer us a fascinating glimpse of the thoughts and passions of a brilliant age. Elizabethan England was a brief skyrocket of art, adventure, and ideas which quickly burned out; but Shakespeare’s plays keep the best parts of that time alight forever. (Adapted from “The Shakespeare Plays,” educational materials made possible by Exxon, Metropolitan Life, Morgan Guaranty, and CPB.)
Utah Shakespeare Festival 9 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 History Is Written by the Victors From Insights, 1994 William Shakespeare wrote ten history plays chronicling English kings from the time of the Magna Carta (King John) to the beginning of England’s first great civil war, the Wars of the Roses (Richard II) to the conclusion of the war and the reuniting of the two factions (Richard III), to the reign of Queen Elizabeth’s father (Henry VIII). Between these plays, even though they were not written in chronological order, is much of the intervening history of England, in the six Henry IV, Henry V, and Henry VI plays. In writing these plays, Shakespeare had nothing to help him except the standard history books of his day. The art of the historian was not very advanced in this period, and no serious attempt was made to get at the exact truth about a king and his reign. Instead, the general idea was that any nation that opposed England was wrong, and that any Englishman who opposed the winning side in a civil war was wrong also. Since Shakespeare had no other sources, the slant that appears in the history books of his time also appears in his plays. Joan of Arc opposed the English and was not admired in Shakespeare’s day, so she is portrayed as a comic character who wins her victories through witchcraft. Richard III fought against the first Tudor monarchs and was therefore labeled in the Tudor histories as a vicious usurper, and he duly appears in Shakespeare’s plays as a mur- dering monster. Shakespeare wrote nine of his history plays under Queen Elizabeth. She did not encourage historical truthfulness, but rather a patriotism, an exultant, intense conviction that England was the best of all possible countries and the home of the most favored of mortals. And this patriotism breathes through all the history plays and binds them together. England’s enemy is not so much any individual king as the threat of civil war, and the history plays come to a triumphant conclusion when the threat of civil war is finally averted, and the great queen, Elizabeth, is born. Shakespeare was a playwright, not a historian, and, even when his sources were correct, he would sometimes juggle his information for the sake of effective stagecraft. He was not interested in historical accuracy; he was interested in swiftly moving action and in people. Shakespeare’s bloody and supurb king seems more convincing than the real Richard III, merely because Shakespeare wrote so effectively about him. Shakespeare moved in a different world from that of the historical, a world of creation rather than of recorded fact, and it is in this world that he is so supreme a master.
10 Utah Shakespeare Festival 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 Mr. Shakespeare, I Presume by Diana Major Spencer From Insights, 1994 Could the plays known as Shakespeare’s have been written by a rural, semi-literate, uneducated, wife-deserting, two-bit actor who spelled him name differently each of the six times he wrote it down? Could such a man know enough about Roman history, Italian geogra- phy, French grammar, and English court habits to create Antony and Cleopatra, The Comedy of Errors, and Henry V? Could he know enough about nobility and its tenuous relationship to royalty to create King Lear and Macbeth? Are these questions even worth asking? Some very intelligent people think so. On the other hand, some very intelligent people think not. Never mind quibbles about how a line should be interpreted, or how many plays Shakespeare wrote and which ones, or which of the great trage- dies reflected personal tragedies. The question of authorship is “The Shakespeare Controversy.” Since Mr. Cowell, quoting the deceased Dr. Wilmot, cast the first doubt about William of Stratford in an 1805 speech before the Ipswich Philological Society, nominees for the “real author” have included philosopher Sir Francis Bacon, playwright Christopher Marlowe, Queen Elizabeth I, Sir Walter Raleigh, and the earls of Derby, Rutland, Essex, and Oxford--among oth- ers. The arguments evoke two premises: first, that the proven facts about the William Shakespeare who was christened at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon on April 26, 1564 do not configure a man of sufficient nobility of thought and language to have written the plays; and, second, that the man from Stratford is nowhere concretely identified as the author of the plays. The name “Shakespeare”—in one of its spellings—appears on early quartos, but the man represented by the name may not be the one from Stratford. One group of objections to the Stratford man follows from the absence of any record that he ever attended school—in Stratford or anywhere else. If he were uneducated, the argu- ments go, how could his vocabulary be twice as large as the learned Milton’s? How could he know so much history, law, or philosophy? If he were a country bumpkin, how could he know so much of hawking, hounding, courtly manners, and daily habits of the nobility? How could he have traveled so much, learning about other nations of Europe in enough detail to make them the settings for his plays? The assumptions of these arguments are that such rich and noble works as those attributed to a playwright using the name “Shakespeare” could have been written only by some- one with certain characteristics, and that those characteristics could be distilled from the “facts” of his life. He would have to be noble; he would have to be well-educated; and so forth. On these grounds the strongest candidate to date is Edward de Vere, seventeenth earl of Oxford. A debate that has endured its peaks and valleys, the controversy catapulted to center stage in 1984 with the publication of Charlton Ogburn’s The Mysterious William Shakespeare. Ogburn, a former army intelligence officer, builds a strong case for Oxford—if one can hurdle the notions that the author wasn’t Will Shakespeare, that literary works should be read autobiographi- cally, and that literary creation is nothing more than reporting the facts of one’s own life. “The Controversy” was laid to rest—temporarily, at least—by justices Blackmun, Brennan, and Stevens of the United States Supreme Court who, after hearing evidence from both sides in a mock trial conducted September 25, 1987 at American University in Washington, D.C., found in favor of the Bard of Avon. Hooray for our side!
Utah Shakespeare Festival 11 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 A Nest of Singing Birds From Insights, 1992 Musical development was part of the intellectual and social movement that influenced all England during the Tudor Age. The same forces that produced writers like Sir Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, John Donne, and Francis Bacon also pro- duced musicians of corresponding caliber. So numerous and prolific were these talented and imaginative men—men whose reputations were even in their own day firmly established and well founded—that they have been frequently and aptly referred to as a nest of singing birds. One such figure was Thomas Tallis, whose music has officially accompanied the Anglican service since the days of Elizabeth I; another was his student, William Boyd, whose variety of religious and secular compositions won him international reputation. Queen Elizabeth I, of course, provided an inspiration for the best efforts of Englishmen, whatever their aims and activities. For music, she was the ideal patroness. She was an accom- plished performer on the virginal (forerunner to the piano), and she aided her favorite art immensely in every way possible, bestowing her favors on the singers in chapel and court and on the musicians in public and private theatrical performances. To the great compos- ers of her time, she was particularly gracious and helpful. Singing has been an integral part of English life for as long as we have any knowledge. Long before the music was written down, the timeless folk songs were a part of our Anglo- Saxon heritage. The madrigals and airs that are enjoyed each summer at the Utah Shakespeare Festival evolved from these traditions. It was noted by Bishop Jewel in l560 that sometimes at Paul’s Cross there would be 6,000 people singing together, and before the sermon, the whole congregation always sang a psalm, together with the choir and organ. When that thundering unity of congregational chorus came in, “I was so transported there was no room left in my whole body, mind, or spirit for anything below divine and heavenly raptures.” Religious expression was likely the dominant musical motif of the Elizabethan period; however, the period also saw development of English stage music, with Morley, John Wilson, and Robert Johnson setting much of their music to the plays of Shakespeare. The masque, a semi-musical entertainment, reached a high degree of perfection at the court of James I, where the courtiers themselves were sometimes participants. An educated person of the time was expected to perform music more than just fairly well, and an inability in this area might elicit whispered comments regarding lack of genteel upbringing, not only in the ability to take one’s part in a madrigal, but also in knowing the niceties of musical theory. Henry Peacham wrote in The Compleat Gentleman in l662 that one of the fundamental qualities of a gentleman was to be able to “sing your part sure, and...to play the same upon your viol.” Outside the walls of court could be heard street songs, lighthearted catches, and ballads, all of which indicates that music was not confined to the cathedrals or court. We still have extant literally hundreds of ballads, street songs, and vendors’ cries that were sung or hummed on the street and played with all their complicated variations on all levels of Elizabethan society. Instruments of the period were as varied as the music and peoples, and the instrument and songbooks which remain in existence today are indicative of the high level of excellence enjoyed by the Elizabethans. Songbooks, mainly of part-songs for three, four, five, and six voices exist today, as do books of dance music: corrantos, pavans, and galliards. Records from one wealthy family indicate the family owned forty musical instruments, including twelve viols, seven recorders, four lutes, five virginals, various brasses and woodwinds, and two “great
12 Utah Shakespeare Festival 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 organs.” To have use for such a great number of instruments implies a fairly large group of play- ers resident with the family or staying with them as invited guests, and the players of the most popular instruments (lutes, virginals, and viols) would be playing from long tradition, at least back to King Henry VIII. In short, music was as necessary to the public and private existence of a Renaissance Englishman as any of the basic elements of life. The Utah Shakespeare Festival musicians perform each summer on authentic replicas of many of these Renaissance instruments. The music they perform is authentic from the Elizabethan period, and the instruments are made available for audience inspection and learning.
Utah Shakespeare Festival 13 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 Actors in Shakespeare’s Day By Stephanie Chidester From Insights, 1994 The status of the actor in society has never been entirely stable but has fluctuated from the beginnings of the theatre to the present day. The ancient Greeks often considered actors as servants of Dionysus, and their performances were a sort of religious rite. Roman actors, often slaves, were seen as the scraps of society, only one step above gladiators. In medieval Europe, both the theatre and the actor, suppressed by the Catholic Church, were almost non-existent but gradually re-emerged in the form of the liturgy and, later, the Mystery plays. The actors of Shakespeare’s age also saw fluctuations in reputation; actors were alternately classified as “vagabonds and sturdy beggars,” as an act of Parliament in 1572 defined them, and as servants of noblemen. As early as 1482, noblemen such as Richard, duke of Gloucester (later Richard III), the earl of Essex, and Lord Arundel kept acting companies among their retainers. But other than these select groups protected by nobles, actors lived lives of danger and instability because when they abandoned their respectable trades, they also left behind the comfort and protection of the trade guilds. However, life soon became much more difficult for both of these classes of actors. In 1572, Parliament passed two acts which damaged thespians’ social status. In the first one, the Queen forbade “‘the unlawful retaining of multitudes of unordinary servants by liveries, badges, and other signs and tokens (contrary to the good and ancient statutes and laws of this realm)’” in order to “curb the power of local grandees” (Dennis Kay, Shakespeare: His Life, Work, and Era [New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1992], 88). One result of this was that some of the actors, now considered superfluous, were turned away. To make matters even worse, these actors faced yet another impediment: the “‘Acte for the punishment of Vacabondes’” (Kay, 88), in which actors were declared “vagabonds and mas- terless men and hence were subject to arrest and imprisonment” (Thomas Marc Parrott and Robert Hamilton Ball, A Short View of Elizabethan Drama [New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1943], 46). However, there were still nobles, such as the earl of Leicester and the earl of Sussex, who endorsed players; the protector would usually seek royal permission for these actors to perform in London or, less frequently, some other less prestigious town. Thus the actors were able to venture forth without fear of arrest. It is through these circumstances that Shakespeare ends up an actor in London. There are many theories—guesses really—of how Shakespeare got into the theatre. He may have joined a group of strolling players, performed around the countryside, and eventually made it to London, the theatrical hub of Britain. Another theory suggests that he began as a schoolmaster, wrote a play (possibly The Comedy of Errors) and then decided to take it to London; or, alternately, he could have simply gone directly to that great city, with or with- out a play in hand, to try his luck. An interesting speculation is that while he was young, Shakespeare might have participated in one of the cycles of Mystery plays in Stratford: “On one occasion the Stratford corporation laid out money for an entertainment at Pentecost. In 1583 they paid 13s 4d ‘to Davi Jones and his company for his pastime at Whitsuntide.’ Davi Jones had been married to Elizabeth, the daughter of Adrian Quiney, and after her death in 1579 he took as his wife a Hathaway, Frances. Was Shakespeare one of the youths who trimmed themselves for the Whitsun pastime?” (S. Schoenbaum, William Shakespeare: A Compact Documentary Life [New
14 Utah Shakespeare Festival 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 York: New American Library, 1977], 111). But however he got into the theatre and to London, he had made a very definite impression on his competitors by 1592, when playwright Robert Greene attacked Shakespeare as both actor and author: “‘There is an upstart Crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his Tiger’s heart wrapt in a Player’s hide, supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blank verse as the best of you: and . . . is in his own conceit the only Shake-scene in a country’” (G. B. Harrison, Introducing Shakespeare [New York: Penguin Books, Inc., 1947], 1). We don’t often think of Shakespeare as primarily an actor, perhaps because most of what we know of him comes from the plays he wrote rather than the parts he played. Nevertheless, he made much of his money as an actor and sharer in his company: “At least to start with, his sta- tus, his security derived more from his acting skill and his eye for business than from his pen” (Kay, 95). Had he been only a playwright, he would likely have died a poor man, as did Robert Greene: “In the autumn of 1592, Robert Greene, the most popular author of his generation, lay penniless and dying. . . . The players had grown rich on the products of his brain, and now he was deserted and alone” (Harrison, 1). While Shakespeare made a career of acting, there are critics who might dispute his acting tal- ent. For instance, almost a century after Shakespeare’s death, “an anonymous enthusiast of the stage . . . remarked . . . that ‘Shakespear . . . was a much better poet, than player’” (Schoenbaum, 201). However, Shakespeare could have been quite a good actor, and this statement would still be true. One sign of his skill as an actor is that he is mentioned in the same breath with Burbage and Kemp: “The accounts of the royal household for Mar 15  record payments to ‘William Kempe William Shakespeare & Richarde Burbage seruantes to the Lord Chamberlain’” (Kay, 174). Another significant indication of his talent is the very fact that he played in London rather than touring other less lucrative towns. If players were to be legally retained by noblemen, they had to prove they could act, and one means of demonstrating their legitimacy was playing at court for Queen Elizabeth. The more skilled companies obtained the queen’s favor and were granted permission to remain in London. Not all companies, however, were so fortunate: “Sussex’s men may not have been quite up to the transition from rural inn-yards to the more demanding circumstances of court performance. Just before the Christmas season of 1574, for example, they were inspected (‘perused’) by offi- cials of the Revels Office, with a view to being permitted to perform before the queen; but they did not perform” (Kay, 90). Shakespeare and his company, on the other hand, performed suc- cessfully in London from the early 1590s until 1611. It would be a mistake to classify William Shakespeare as only a playwright, even the greatest playwright of the English-speaking world; he was also “an actor, a sharer, a member of a company” (Kay, 95), obligations that were extremely relevant to his plays. As a man of the theatre writing for a company, he knew what would work on stage and what would not and was able to make his plays practical as well as brilliant. And perhaps more importantly, his theatrical experience must have taught him much about the human experience, about everyday lives and roles, just as his plays show us that “All the world’s a stage, / And all the men and women merely players” (As You Like It, 2.7.149-50).
Utah Shakespeare Festival 15 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 Shakespeare’s Audience: A Very Motley Crowd From Insights, 1992 When Shakespeare peeped through the curtain at the audience gathered to hear his first play, he looked upon a very motley crowd. The pit was filled with men and boys. The galleries contained a fair proportion of women, some not too respectable. In the boxes were a few gentlemen from the royal courts, and in the lords’ box or perhaps sitting on the stage was a group of extravagantly dressed gentle- men of fashion. Vendors of nuts and fruits moved about through the crowd. The gallants were smoking; the apprentices in the pit were exchanging rude witticisms with the painted ladies. When Shakespeare addressed his audience directly, he did so in terms of gentle courtesy or pleasant raillery. In Hamlet, however, he does let fall the opinion that the groundlings (those on the ground, the cheapest seats) were “for the most part capable of nothing but dumb shows and noise.” His recollections of the pit of the Globe may have added vigor to his ridicule of the Roman mob in Julius Caesar. On the other hand, the theatre was a popular institution, and the audience was representative of all classes of London life. Admission to standing room in the pit was a penny, and an additional penny or two secured a seat in the galleries. For seats in the boxes or for stools on the stage, still more was charged, up to sixpence or half a crown. Attendance at the theatres was astonishingly large. There were often five or six theatres giving daily performances, which would mean that out of a city of one hundred thousand inhabitants, thirty thou- sand or more spectators each week attended the theatre. When we remember that a large class of the population disapproved of the theatre, and that women of respectability were not fre- quent patrons of the public playhouses, this attendance is remarkable. Arrangements for the comfort of the spectators were meager, and spectators were often disorderly. Playbills seem to have been posted all about town and in the theatre, and the title of the piece was announced on the stage. These bills contained no lists of actors, and there were no programs, ushers, or tickets. There was usually one door for the audience, where the admission fee was deposited in a box carefully watched by the money taker, and additional sums were required at entrance to the galleries or boxes. When the three o’clock trumpets announced the beginning of a performance, the assembled audience had been amusing itself by eating, drinking, smoking, and playing cards, and they sometimes continued these occupations during a performance. Pickpockets were frequent, and, if caught, were tied to a post on the stage. Disturbances were not infrequent, sometimes resulting in gen- eral rioting. The Elizabethan audience was fond of unusual spectacle and brutal physical suffering. They liked bat- tles and murders, processions and fireworks, ghosts and insanity. They expected comedy to abound in beatings, and tragedy in deaths. While the audience at the Globe expected some of these sensations and physical horrors, they did not come primarily for these. (Real blood and torture were available nearby at the bear baitings, and public executions were not uncommon.) Actually, there were very few public entertainments offering as little brutality as did the theatre. Elizabethans attended the public playhouses for learning. They attended for romance, imagination, idealism, and art; the audience was not without refinement, and those looking for food for the imagination had nowhere to go but to the playhouse. There were no newspapers, no magazines, almost no novels, and only a few cheap books; theatre filled the desire for story
16 Utah Shakespeare Festival 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 discussion among people lacking other educational and cultural opportunities. The most remarkable case of Shakespeare’s theatre filling an educational need is probably that of English history. The growth of national patriotism culminating in the English victory over the Spanish Armada gave dramatists a chance to use the historical material, and for the fifteen years from the Armada to the death of Elizabeth, the stage was deluged with plays based on the events of English chronicles, and familiarity with English history became a cultural asset of the London crowd, Law was a second area where the Elizabethan public seems to have been fairly well informed, and successful dramatists realized the influence that the great development of civil law in the sixteenth century exercised upon the daily life of the London citizen. In this area, as in others, the dramatists did not hesitate to cultivate the cultural background of their audience whenever oppor- tunity offered, and the ignorance of the multitude did not prevent it from taking an interest in new information and from offering a receptive hearing to the accumulated lore of lawyers, historians, humanists, and playwrights. The audience was used to the spoken word, and soon became trained in blank verse, delighting in monologues, debates, puns, metaphors, stump speakers, and sonorous declamation. The public was accustomed to the acting of the old religious dramas, and the new acting in which the spoken words were listened to caught on rapidly. The new poetry and the great actors who recited it found a sensi- tive audience. There were many moments during a play when spectacle, brutality, and action were all forgotten, and the audience fed only on the words. Shakespeare and his contemporaries may be deemed fortunate in having an audience essentially attentive, eager for the newly unlocked storehouse of secular story, and possessing the sophistication and interest to be fed richly by the excitements and levities on the stage.
Utah Shakespeare Festival 17 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 Shakespeare Snapshots From Insights, 2002 By Ace G. Pilkington It is hard to get from the facts of Shakespeare’s life to any sense of what it must have been like to have lived it. He was born in 1564 in Stratford-on-Avon and died there in 1616. The day of his birth is not certain, but it may have been the same as the day of his death—April 23—if he was baptized, as was usual at the time, three days after he was born. He married Anne Hathaway in the winter of 1582 83, when he was eighteen and she was twenty-six. He became the father of three children. The first was Susannah, who was born around May 23, close enough to the date of the wedding to suggest that the marriage was not entirely voluntary. Shakespeare’s twins, Hamnet and Judith, were baptized on February 2, 1585. Hamnet died of unknown causes (at least unknown by us at this distance in time) in 1596. Shakespeare’s career as actor, theatre owner, manager, and, of course, playwright began in the vicinity of 1590 and continued for the rest of his life, though there are clear indications that he spent more and more time in Stratford and less and less in London from 1611 on. His work in the theatre made him wealthy, and his extraordinary plays brought him a measure of fame, though nothing like what he deserved or would posthumously receive. It’s hard to get even the briefest sense of what Shakespeare’s life was like from such information. It is probably impossible ever to know what Shakespeare thought or felt, but maybe we can get closer to what he saw and heard and even smelled. Perhaps some snapshots—little close-ups—might help to bring us nearer to the world in which Shakespeare lived if not quite to the life he lived in that world. In Shakespeare’s youth, chimneys were a new thing. Before that, smoke was left to find its way out through a hole in the roof, often a thatched roof, and there were even some who maintained that this smoky atmosphere was better than the newfangled fresh air that chimneys made possible—along with a greater division of rooms and more privacy. In the year of Shakespeare’s birth, Stratford had more trees than houses—”upwards of 400 houses as well as 1,000 elms and forty ashes” (Peter Thomson, Shakespeare’s Professional Career [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992], 1). Peter Levi says, “The town was so full of elm trees that it must have looked and sounded like a woodland settlement. For example, Mr. Gibbs’s house on Rothermarket had twelve elms in the garden and six in front of the door. Thomas Attford on Ely Street had another twelve. The town boundaries were marked by elms or groups of elms (The Life and Times of William Shakespeare [New York: Wings Books, 1988], 7). Shakespeare’s “Bare ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang” becomes a far more majestic image with the picture of Stratford’s elms in mind. And the birds themselves had a sound which modern ears no longer have a chance to enjoy. “We must real- ize that it was ordinary for . . . Shakespeare to hear a dawn chorus of many hundreds of birds at once. . . . as a young man thirty years ago I have heard a deafening dawn chorus in the wooded Chilterns, on Shakespeare’s road to London” (Levi 10). Exactly what Shakespeare’s road to London may have been or at least how he first made his way there and became an actor is much debated. He might have been a schoolmaster or fifty other things, but he may well have started out as he ended up—as a player. We can then, in John Southworth’s words, “Picture a sixteen-year-old lad on a cart, growing year by year into manhood, journeying out of the Arden of his childhood into ever more unfamiliar, distant regions, travelling ill-made roads in all weath- ers, sleeping in inns, hearing and memorising strange new dialects and forms of speech, meeting with every possible type and character of person; learning, most of all perhaps, from the audiences to which he played in guildhalls and inns” (Shakespeare the Player: A Life in the Theatre [Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing Limited, 2000], 30). At some time in his life—in fact, many times—Shakespeare must have known theatrical tours very like that.
18 Utah Shakespeare Festival 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 In London itself, the new Globe, the best theatre in (or rather just outside of) the city, was in an area with a large number of prisons and an unpleasant smell. “Garbage had preceded actors on the marshy land where the new playhouse was erected: `flanked with a ditch and forced out of a marsh’, according to Ben Jonson. Its cost . . . included the provision of heavy piles for the foundation, and a whole network of ditches in which the water rose and fell with the tidal Thames” (Garry O’Connor, William Shakespeare: A Popular Life [New York: Applause Books, 2000], 161). The playgoers came by water, and the Globe, the Rose, and the Swan “drew 3,000 or 4,000 people in boats across the Thames every day” (161). Peter Levi says of Shakespeare’s London, “The noise, the crowds, the animals and their drop- pings, the glimpses of grandeur and the amazing squalor of the poor, were beyond modern imagination” (49). England was a place of fear and glory. Public executions were public entertainments. Severed heads decayed on city walls. Francis Bacon, whom Will Durant calls “the most powerful and influential intellect of his time” (Heroes of History: A Brief History of Civilization from Ancient Times to the Dawn of the Modern Age [New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001], 327), had been “one of the persons commissioned to question prisoners under torture” in the 1580s (Levi 4). The opportune moment when Shakespeare became the most successful of playwrights was the destruction of Thomas Kyd, “who broke under torture and was never the same again,” and the death of Christopher Marlowe in a tavern brawl which was the result of plot and counterplot— a struggle, very probably, between Lord Burghley and Walter Ralegh (Levi 48). Shakespeare, who must have known the rumors and may have known the truth, cannot have helped shuddering at such monstrous good fortune. Still, all of the sights, smells, and terrors, from the birdsongs to the screams of torture, from the muddy tides to the ties of blood, became not only the textures and tonalities of Shakespeare’s life, but also the information and inspira- tion behind his plays.
Utah Shakespeare Festival 19 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 Ghosts, Witches, and Shakespeare By Howard Waters From Insights, 2006 Some time in the mid 1580s, young Will Shakespeare, for reasons not entirely clear to us, left his home, his wife, and his family in Stratford and set off for London. It was a time when Elizabeth, “la plus fine femme du monde,” as Henry III of France called her, had occupied the throne of England for over twenty-five years. The tragedy of Mary Stuart was past; the ordeal of Essex was in the future. Sir Francis Drake’s neutralization of the Spanish Armada was pending and rumors of war or invasion blew in from all the great ports. What could have been more exciting for a young man from the country, one who was already more than half in love with words, than to be headed for London! It was an exciting and frightening time, when the seven gates of London led to a maze of streets, narrow and dirty, crowded with tradesmen, carts, coaches, and all manner of humanity. Young Will would have seen the moated Tower of London, looking almost like an island apart. There was London Bridge crowded with tenements and at the southern end a cluster of traitors’ heads impaled on poles. At Tyburn thieves and murderers dangled, at Limehouse pirates were trussed up at low tide and left to wait for the water to rise over them. At Tower Hill the heads- man’s axe flashed regularly, while for the vagabonds there were the whipping posts, and for the beggars there were the stocks. Such was the London of the workaday world, and young Will was undoubtedly mentally filing away details of what he saw, heard, and smelled. Elizabethan people in general were an emotional lot and the ferocity of their entertainment reflected that fact. Bear-baiting, for example, was a highly popular spectator sport, and the struc- ture where they were generally held was not unlike the theatres of the day. A bear was chained to a stake in the center of the pit, and a pack of large dogs was turned loose to bait, or fight, him. The bear eventually tired (fortunately for the remaining dogs!), and, well, you can figure the rest out for yourself. Then there were the public hangings, whippings, or drawing and quarter- ings for an afternoon’s entertainment. So, the violence in some of Shakespeare’s plays was clearly directed at an audience that reveled in it. Imagine the effect of having an actor pretend to bite off his own tongue and spit a chunk of raw liver that he had carefully packed in his jaw into the faces of the groundlings! Despite the progressing enlightenment of the Renaissance, superstition was still rampant among Elizabethan Londoners, and a belief in such things as astrology was common (Ralph P. Boas and Barbara M. Hahna, “The Age of Shakespeare,” Social Backgrounds of English Literature, [Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1931] 93). Through the position of stars many Elizabethans believed that coming events could be foretold even to the extent of mapping out a person’s entire life. Where witches and ghosts were concerned, it was commonly accepted that they existed and the person who scoffed at them was considered foolish, or even likely to be cursed. Consider the fact that Shakespeare’s Macbeth was supposedly cursed due to the playwright’s having given away a few more of the secrets of witchcraft than the weird sisters may have approved of. For a time, productions experienced an uncanny assortment of mishaps and injuries. Even today, it is often considered bad luck for members of the cast and crew to mention the name of the pro- duction, simply referred to as the Scottish Play. In preaching a sermon, Bishop Jewel warned the Queen: “It may please your Grace to understand that witches and sorcerers within these last few years are marvelously increased. Your Grace’s subjects pine away, even unto death; their color fadeth; their flesh rotteth; their speech is benumbed; their senses bereft” (Walter Bromberg,
20 Utah Shakespeare Festival 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 “Witchcraft and Psychotherapy”, The Mind of Man [New York: Harper Torchbooks 1954], 54). Ghosts were recognized by the Elizabethans in three basic varieties: the vision or purely sub- jective ghost, the authentic ghost who has died without opportunity of repentance, and the false ghost which is capable of many types of manifestations (Boas and Hahn). When a ghost was confronted, either in reality or in a Shakespeare play, some obvious discrimination was called for (and still is). Critics still do not always agree on which of these three types haunts the pages of Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Richard III, or Hamlet, or, in some cases, why they are necessary to the plot at all. After all, Shakespeare’s ghosts are a capricious lot, mak- ing themselves visible or invisible as they please. In Richard III there are no fewer than eleven ghosts on the stage who are visible only to Richard and Richmond. In Macbeth the ghost of Banquo repeatedly appears to Macbeth in crowded rooms but is visible only to him. In Hamlet, the ghost appears to several people on the castle battlements but only to Hamlet in his mother’s bedchamber. In the words of E.H. Seymour: “If we judge by sheer reason, no doubt we must banish ghosts from the stage altogether, but if we regulate our fancy by the laws of superstition, we shall find that spectres are privileged to be visible to whom they will (E.H. Seymour “Remarks, Critical, Conjectural, and Explanatory on Shakespeare” in Macbeth A New Variorum Edition of Shakespeare [New York: Dover Publications Inc., 1963] 211). Shakespeare’s audiences, and his plays, were the products of their culture. Since the validity of any literary work can best be judged by its public acceptance, not to mention its lasting power, it seems that Shakespeare’s ghosts and witches were, and are, enormously popular. If modern audiences and critics find themselves a bit skeptical, then they might consider bringing along a supply of Coleridge’s “willing suspension of disbelief.” Elizabethans simply had no need of it.
Utah Shakespeare Festival 21 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 Shakespeare’s Day: What They Wore The clothing which actors wear to perform a play is called a costume, to distinguish it from everyday clothing. In Shakespeare’s time, acting companies spent almost as much on costumes as television series do today. The costumes for shows in England were so expensive that visitors from France were a little envious. Kings and queens on the stage were almost as well dressed as kings and queens in real life. Where did the acting companies get their clothes? Literally, “off the rack” and from used clothing sellers. Wealthy middle class people would often give their servants old clothes that they didn’t want to wear any more, or would leave their clothes to the servants when they died. Since clothing was very expensive, people wore it as long as possible and passed it on from one person to another without being ashamed of wearing hand-me-downs. However, since servants were of a lower class than their employers, they weren’t allowed to wear rich fabrics, and would sell these clothes to acting companies, who were allowed to wear what they wanted in perfor- mance. A rich nobleman like Count Paris or a wealthy young man like Romeo would wear a doublet, possibly of velvet, and it might have gold embroidery. Juliet and Lady Capulet would have worn taffeta, silk, gold, or satin gowns, and everybody would have had hats, gloves, ruffs (an elaborate collar), gloves, stockings, and shoes equally elaborate. For a play like Romeo and Juliet, which was set in a European country at about the same time Shakespeare wrote it, Elizabethan everyday clothes would have been fine—the audience would have been happy, and they would have been authentic for the play. However, since there were no costume shops who could make clothing suitable for, say, medieval Denmark for Hamlet, or ancient Rome for Julius Caesar, or Oberon and Titania’s forest for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, these productions often looked slightly strange—can you imagine fairies in full Elizabethan collars and skirts? How would they move? Today’s audiences want costumes to be authentic, so that they can believe in the world of the play. However, Romeo and Juliet was recently set on Verona Beach, with very up-to-date clothes indeed; and about thirty years ago, West Side Story, an updated musical version of the Romeo and Juliet tale, was set in the Puerto Rican section of New York City. Activity: Discuss what the affect of wearing “special” clothes is—to church, or to a party. Do you feel different? Do you act different? How many kinds of wardrobes do you have? School, play, best? Juliet and Romeo would have had only one type of clothing each, no matter how nice it was. Activity: Perform a scene from the play in your everyday clothes, and then in more formal clothes. Ask the participants and the spectators to describe the differences between the two performances.
22 Utah Shakespeare Festival 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 About the Play: The Tempest The Tempest was probably the last play Shakespeare wrote entirely by himself before he left London to lead the life of a man of property in Stratford. During the score of years that he had been active in London, he had seen many changes in the theatre and in popular taste, and, shrewdly sensitive to what the public wanted, he had always managed to provide plays that suited the fashion. Indeed, few Elizabethan playwrights were more conscious of the box office than was Shakespeare, but he had the genius to put together popular dramas with enduring quality, so that in 1611 when he sat down to write The Tempest, he was able to create a play that would appeal first to King James and his nobles and later to the London public. The result was a mature play with a serene outlook and just the right mixture of fantasy, philosophy, spectacle, and humor. Themes of sin and forgiveness, repentance and salvation pervade the play; evil is present, to be sure, but never for a moment is there the least likeli- hood that its stratagems will succeed. By 1611 a new style of drama had gained popularity on the London stages; tragi-comedies were setting the pace with writers like Beaumont and Fletcher attracting great followings, and, while Shakespeare’s later plays were not precisely imitative of the younger playwrights, they nevertheless reflect the fashion which Beaumont and Fletcher exemplified. Although now considered an “older” dramatist, Shakespeare was too original and experienced to need to imitate lesser writers, and he could conform to the new style and outshine them all. The Tempest is proof of this skill. The Tempest, one of Shakespeare’s shortest plays, is also the only play in which he faithfully adheres to the dramatic unities of time, place, and action called for in the classical Greek tradition. We may have to remind ourselves after we have finished reading or watching The Tempest that, despite the play’s many and varied events, the entire action occurs during the course of a single afternoon and in a single locale. Plot elements in The Tempest are common to romance and folklore and appear in many places, but sources of the play remain vague and dispersed, with no definite and provable genesis. Shakespeare, like any creative artist, drew upon his memory for many elements that went into the play of the imagina- tion. Yet, one of the identifiable influences seems to have been a group of pamphlets published in 1610 and generally known as the “Bermuda Pamphlets.” These writings describe a wreck on the Bermudas in 1609; they caused a good deal of comment and excitement in England, and there are a great many paral- lels between Shakespeare’s play and the story told in the pamphlets. The Tempest is likely Shakespeare’s most poetic play, as well as his most original. While many attempts have been made to expound its “meaning,” the total impression left by the play is estrangement and reconciliation, sin and forgiveness, repentance and salvation. It shows how, in the fullness of time, a power like Divine Providence may work upon the wills and souls of sinful men to bring about their regeneration. The truest justice is not vindictive and punitive, but merciful and forgiving; and repen- tance is always necessary for salvation.
Utah Shakespeare Festival 23 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 Synopsis: The Tempest As the play opens, a tempest-tossed ship is wrecked upon the shores of an enchanted isle whereon dwell Prospero and his lovely daughter, Miranda, alone save for Caliban, a deformed and brutish half man/half beast whom Prospero has enslaved, and Ariel, a dainty spirit of the winds and Prospero’s ser- vant. After the ship is split apart on the rocks and as the tempest begins to subside, Prospero tells his daughter of his past life: Formerly duke of Milan, Prospero allowed his affairs of state to lapse in order that he could study magic. Eventually his dukedom was usurped by his wicked brother, Antonio, and Alonso, the king of Naples. The conspirators then set Prospero and Miranda adrift in a “rotten carcass of a boat,” where they would have perished except for a humane Gonzalo, who provisioned their craft with enough food and water for them to reach the island. During the twelve years of their exile, Prospero has perfected his magical arts, gained control of the various spirits and creatures that inhabit the island, and educated Miranda. Knowing through his magic that his ancient enemies are in the wrecked vessel, Prospero brings the voyagers safely ashore and scatters them in groups about the island. Ariel, at Prospero’s bidding, leads Ferdinand, gallant son of the king of Naples, to the cave of Prospero—and Miranda, who does not remember ever having seen any other man than her father, immediately is smitten with the handsome prince. Prospero, who had hoped the two would fall in love, pretends to frown upon him, subdues him with magic arts, and sets him to work hauling logs. On another part of the island, Alonso, his brother Sebastian, Antonio, and others wander sadly, convinced that the young Prince Ferdinand is dead. All but Sebastian and Antonio are lulled to sleep by Ariel, but these two remain awake to plot the death of the sleeping king and their taking over of his king- dom. They might have succeeded had not the watchful Ariel awakened the intended victim just in time. On a third isolated part of the island, Trinculo, the king’s jester, is reeling drunk. He encounters Caliban, and they are soon joined by the butler, Stephano, who so delights Caliban with “moon-liquor” that Caliban swears to follow him forever. The three then make their own drunken plot to break free, through force, of their various masters, but Ariel, who has heard every word, lures them astray with magical music. Meanwhile Miranda and Ferdinand have exchanged vows of love, and Prospero, who is now con- vinced of their true love, blesses their engagement. While the lovers are conversing, Prospero and Ariel mock the king’s court with a lavish banquet, which vanishes as soon as they try to eat. They then rebuke them for their crimes against “good Prospero . . . and his innocent child.” Finally, after Miranda and Ferdinand are treated to a prenuptial masque enacted by the spirits of Iris, Ceres, Juno, and their nymphs, Prospero decides that all have suffered enough and that it is time to forgive for injuries of the past. Spellbound by Ariel’s magic, everyone, for the first time, is brought before Prospero, where he reveals himself as the wronged duke of Milan. Prospero first brings in Prince Ferdinand, supposed dead, and announces his engagement to Miranda. He then frees his faithful ser- vant, Ariel, and returns the island to Caliban. The crew of the ship, which is magically afloat again, arrives to take all back to Milan, and Prospero renounces his magical powers, with a last order to Ariel to command “calm seas and auspicious gales” for the voyage ahead.
24 Utah Shakespeare Festival 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 Characters: The Tempest Alonso: The king of Naples and father of Ferdinand, Alonso plotted in the past with Antonio to take over Prospero’s dukedom but is now struck with deep remorse. He takes the discipline meted out by Prospero in all humility. Sebastian: Alonso’s ambitious younger brother, Sebastian at one point plots with Antonio to kill his brother, the king, and take over his kingdom. Prospero: The rightful duke of Milan, Prospero has been exiled with his daughter, Miranda, on a magi- cal island for twelve years. He is intelligent, has studied magic for many years, and has achieved a far-reaching power. Antonio: The brother of Prospero, Antonio twelve years ago usurped his brother’s dukedom and set Prospero and Miranda adrift in a leaky boat. Even after Prospero uses his magic to punish him and show him his evil ways, Antonio remains largely unrepentant. Ferdinand: The son of Alonso, Ferdinand is both pure himself and appreciative of the innocence and purity of Miranda. He is courteous and respectful of Prospero, despite the harsh treatment he receives. Gonzalo: An honest and noble old counselor, Gonzalo was responsible for the survival of Prospero and Miranda when they were set adrift by Antonio. Caliban: A savage and deformed slave, Caliban is a creature of the earth but not honored with a human shape. Prospero tells us that Caliban’s father was the devil himself, and his mother was Sycorax, a wicked witch. Trinculo: Alonzo’s jester and Stephano’s sidekick, Trinculo is often drunk, often funny, and almost always at odds with someone. Stephano: Alonso’s butler, Stephano is a genial bully. He provides Caliban with liquor, thus guarantee- ing his devotion. Master of a Ship Boatswain Mariners Miranda: The daughter of Prospero, Miranda was exiled with her father twelve years ago. Since that time she has seen no other human being and has now matured into a young woman. Ariel: An airy spirit, Ariel is not human, and yet is endowed with personality and intelligence. Ariel was too delicate to do the evil bidding of Sycorax, who imbedded the spirit in a cloven oak. When Prospero liberated the spirit, Ariel became his agent. Iris: A spirit Ceres: A spirit Juno: A spirit Nymphs Reapers
Utah Shakespeare Festival 25 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 Suiting the Fashion The Tempest was probably the last play Shakespeare wrote entirely by himself before he left London to lead the life of a man of property in Stratford. During the score of years that he had been active in London, he had seen many changes in the theatre and in popular taste, and, shrewdly sensitive to what the public wanted, he had always managed to provide plays that suited the fashion. Indeed, few Elizabethan playwrights were more conscious of the box office than was Shakespeare, but he had the genius to put together popular dramas with enduring quality, so that in 1611 when he sat down to write The Tempest, he was able to create a play that would appeal first to King James and his nobles and later to the London public. The result was a mature play with a serene outlook and just the right mixture of fantasy, philosophy, spectacle, and humor. Themes of sin and forgiveness, repentance and salvation pervade the play; evil is present, to be sure, but never for a moment is there the least likeli- hood that its stratagems will succeed. By 1611 a new style of drama had gained popularity on the London stages; tragi-comedies were setting the pace with writers like Beaumont and Fletcher attracting great followings, and, while Shakespeare’s later plays were not precisely imitative of the younger playwrights, they nevertheless reflect the fashion which Beaumont and Fletcher exemplified. Although now considered an “older” dramatist, Shakespeare was too original and experienced to need to imitate lesser writers, and he could conform to the new style and outshine them all. The Tempest is proof of this skill. The Tempest, one of Shakespeare’s shortest plays, is also the only play in which he faithfully adheres to the dramatic unities of time, place, and action called for in the classical Greek tradition. We may have to remind ourselves after we have finished reading or watching The Tempest that, despite the play’s many and varied events, the entire action occurs during the course of a single afternoon and in a single locale. Plot elements in The Tempest are common to romance and folklore and appear in many places, but sources of the play remain vague and dispersed, with no definite and provable genesis. Shakespeare, like any creative artist, drew upon his memory for many elements that went into the play of the imagina- tion. Yet, one of the identifiable influences seems to have been a group of pamphlets published in 1610 and generally known as the “Bermuda Pamphlets.” These writings describe a wreck on the Bermudas in 1609; they caused a good deal of comment and excitement in England, and there are a great many paral- lels between Shakespeare’s play and the story told in the pamphlets. The Tempest is likely Shakespeare’s most poetic play, as well as his most original. While many attempts have been made to expound its “meaning,” the total impression left by the play is estrangement and reconciliation, sin and forgiveness, repentance and salvation. It shows how, in the fulness of time, a power like Divine Providence may work upon the wills and souls of sinful men to bring about their regeneration. The truest justice is not vindictive and punitive, but merciful and forgiving; and repen- tance is always necessary for salvation.
26 Utah Shakespeare Festival 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 Physical and Emotional Storms By Michael Flachmann From Insights, 1995 Shakespeare’s The Tempest (1611), like so many of his later plays, features an intense storm scene, which profoundly restructures the plot and characters within their dramatic universe. Through his “so potent art” (5.1.50), Prospero causes a shipwreck at the outset of the action, marooning on his island not only his two most bitter enemies, but also the future husband of his beloved daughter, Miranda. Suspended between his lust for revenge and his need for regeneration and renewal, Shakespeare’s magi- cian-hero forgives his adversaries, bestows his daughter upon the future king of Naples, and then abjures his “art” by breaking his magic staff and drowning his book of charms “deeper than did ever plummet sound” (5.1.56). Not surprisingly for a play so devoted to tempests both physical and emotional, Shakespeare’s comedy has elicited a storm of controversy from a number of different sources during the past four cen- turies. Even the long-accepted conventional interpretation of the play as Shakespeare’s farewell to the stage, complete with Prospero as playwright renouncing his theatrical magic, has recently come under close scrutiny by bibliographers who believe the script was written before Henry VIII and The Two Noble Kinsmen and may even have preceded The Winter’s Tale. So much for dramatic tradition! Five areas of disagreement that offer particular fascination to modern readers and theatergoers include characterization, colonization, images of the new world, magic, and the masque. Through his soaring poetry, Shakespeare dramatizes the inherent conflicts within each of these categories, organiz- ing his play around a series of debates that are as intriguing today as they were nearly four hundred years ago. Since The Tempest is a theatrical “script,” however, it can only be completely realized through per- formance. Solely in that artistic venue can the infinity of choices available to readers of the play be nar- rowed and refined to a single production, unique to the particular place, time, and audience of the Utah Shakespeare Festival during the summer of 1995 in Cedar City. This wide range of interpretive possibilities is nowhere more startling than in the contrast between such characters as Prospero and his “abhorred slave” (1.2.351) Caliban. Prospero, for example, has been identified variously in recent theatrical productions and in scholarly books and articles as a noble ruler, tyrant, necromancer, neoplatonic scientist, imperialist, and magician, while portrayals of Caliban have ranged from ugly, deformed savage to sensitive, victimized new-world native. The precise degree of interpretation of these and such other seminal characters as Ariel, Miranda, Ferdinand, Antonio, Alonzo, and Gonzalo will depend, of course, upon the director, design team, and individual actors at the Festival this summer, since they will make all the necessary decisions that must transform the play from “page” to “stage.” Likewise, any good theatrical performance of the script must on some level respond to the charge that Prospero has stolen the island from its original inhabitants in the same manner that Renaissance England was slowly beginning to colonize much of the civilized world. Caliban, whose name is an ana- gram of “cannibal,” had previously “owned” the island with his dam, Sycorax, and had his power and authority over the territory usurped in much the same way Antonio had stolen Prospero’s dukedom in Milan. As the great popularity of Montaigne’s essay “Of the Cannibals” (translated into English by John Florio in 1603) indicates, the colonization of relatively unspoiled lands where pre-lapsarian natives led an Edenic existence had become a wildly controversial topic by the later stages of Shakespeare’s career. What were the proper moral and ethical responsibilities of colonial exploration? And what obligation, if any, did the invaders have in educating and Christianizing the primitive inhabitants they found during their travels? Perhaps, the play seems to suggest ironically, it is the Europeans who are savage, predatory, and inhuman in their enslavement of indigenous citizens like Caliban. Such Shakespeare debates about
Utah Shakespeare Festival 27 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 colonization are always played out within the larger and more provocative context of images of the new world. As Gonzalo’s utopian monologue in act 2, scene 1 implies, Renaissance Europeans were fascinated by the concept of discovering a new, pristine paradise which would provide a fresh opportunity to experi- ment with laws and social customs not already encrusted by centuries of English tradition. Just four years prior to the first performance of The Tempest, in fact, British explorers had founded Jamestown in 1607, and in 1609 they sent a fleet of four hundred new colonists across the Atlantic who, after being lashed by a ferocious storm, were forced to land in Bermuda where they spent the winter. Prospero’s island, hard by these “still-vexed Bermoothes [Bermudas]” (1.2.229), provides a wonderful “new world” (5.1.183) laboratory in which the various theories of colonization and civilization popular during the Renaissance could be dramatized before an attentive audience. Much of Prospero’s political and moral power on the island is accomplished through magic, of course, which introduces yet another important area in which modern productions of the play must make some specific choices between extreme interpretations that are often quite contradictory in their aim and scope. In one sense, the magic of The Tempest is Baconian in origin: a systematic study of nature, which leads to the understanding and control of all its forces. On another level, magic can be portrayed in the play as pure theatre and illusion: both a source of power for Prospero the artist and a retreat from its demands and responsibilities. And finally, magic can be associated with the black arts, as it is in Macbeth and other plays, where it is often depicted as profane, irrational, unholy, and malicious. Prospero’s theatri- cal magic may, in fact, contain elements of all three of these aspects of enchantment, though each actor playing the role must at some point decide which of the trio will be most heavily weighted in his perfor- mance. One final dramatic crux in The Tempest requiring careful and deliberate choices by the production team will be the illusion of the masque in act 4, scene 1, the magnificent culmination of Prospero’s magic, which can either be a genuine celebration of Miranda’s betrothal or a boastful display of power from a retiring sorcerer who desperately wants to preserve his authority and position in Milan by providing a priceless bride for the royal husband of his choice. As Sir Walter Raleigh’s selection of the name “Virginia” for his new American colony implied, virginity was seen as an attribute of power, a possession worthy of kings and queens. In this sense, Prospero’s masque may also be viewed as a victory ceremony for keeping Miranda’s chastity safe from Caliban’s lustful desire to “people” the island with their children. Through such extra-textual elements as music, costuming, lighting, set design, props, blocking, and dance, each different production of the play will create its own masque as a unique and special blend of illusion, cel- ebration, braggadocio, and ceremony appropriate to the director’s concept and the actors’ skills and abili- ties. The brilliance of Shakespeare is that all these various interpretations--and others too numerous to mention in such a brief article--coexist harmoniously within the script of such a play. Conversely, much of the agony and exhilaration of directing The Tempest accrues from the fact that the production will be sequentially defined by the hard choices made between these different interpretations at each phase of the rehearsal process. This is, of course, the collaborative “rough magic” of theatre. Will these choices be the same ones you would have selected? Will they fulfill your expectations of the play, or will they chal- lenge, amaze, and delight you with their distinctive creative energy? There’s only one way to find out, of course: Come see the show!
28 Utah Shakespeare Festival 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 A Microcosm of Behavior and Emotion By Stephanie Chidester From Midsummer Magazine, 1995 The Tempest is one of Shakespeare’s most universal plays and, not coincidentally, is very much concerned with human behavior and emotion. As John Wilders observes in The Lost Garden, “Prospero’s island is what the sociologists call a ‘model’ of human society. Its cast of characters allows Shakespeare to portray in micro- cosm nearly all the basic, fundamental social relationships: those of a ruler to his territory, a governor to his subjects, a father to his child, masters to servants, male to female, and the rational to the irrational within the human microcosm itself” ([London: Macmillan Press Ltd., 1978], 127). Prospero himself is an observer of and experimenter with human behavior: he saw human nature at its worst when his brother usurped his dukedom and sent Prospero and Miranda off to almost certain death; he has tried to nurture Caliban’s human half and to teach the monster acceptable human conduct; he demonstrates a working knowledge of reverse psychology when he maneuvers his daughter into love with Ferdinand; and, finally, he examines his own behavior and emotions in relation to his enemies, relatives, and friends. Prospero and the play ask two questions: Is behavior such an Antonio’s the basic nature of human beings; and, if so, can nurture improve upon nature? In modern terms, the play struggles with the ever- present debate over the impact of heredity and environment. His first observations--of Antonio’s and Alonso’s treachery--were inadvertent and even unexpected; however, they prompted Prospero to shift the focus of his studies from “the liberal arts” to human behav- ior. Prospero has devoted himself to gaining knowledge and, as he admits to Miranda, neglected his duke- dom and perhaps even his own humanity; “His learning and the exercise of his occult powers make him god-like, but they also make him inhuman” (David L. Hirst, The Tempest: Text and Performance [London: Macmillan Publishers Ltd., 1984], 28). Prospero’s two servants, Ariel and Caliban, are the first subjects of his experimentation. Terry Eagleton explains, “If Ariel needs to be tied down to the life of the body, the creaturely Caliban needs to be cranked up to the level of language. Ariel and Caliban symbolize, respectively, pure language and pure body, a freedom which threatens to transgress all restraint and a sensuous enslavement to material limit. Prospero strives to bring both of them within that dialectic of activity and passivity, bondage and transcendence, which for Shakespeare is prototypically human” (William Shakespeare [Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986], 95). When he first arrived on the island and discovered Caliban, Prospero treated the monster “with human care” (1.2.346; all references to line numbers are from The Riverside Shakespeare, ed. G. Blakemore Evans [Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1974]). He tried, with Miranda’s assistance, to educate and civilize Caliban, the offspring of a witch and an incubus, the very epitome of ignorance, bestiality, and treachery. Caliban explains that Prospero taught him “how / To name the bigger light, and how the less, / That burn by day and night” (1.2.334 36), and Miranda says, “I pitied thee, / Took pains to make thee speak, taught thee each hour / One thing or other” (1.2.353 55). This particular experiment is an unfortunate failure: Caliban’s reaction to learning language is to curse, and his responses to Prospero’s civilizing influ- ence include attempts to rape Miranda and to kill Prospero. Prospero comes to the conclusion that Caliban is “a born devil, on whose nature / Nurture can never stick; on whom my pains, / Humanely taken, all, all lost, quite lost” (4.1.188 90). One might argue, as Anthony Harris does in Night’s Black Agents, that Caliban’s “avowal that he will be ‘wise hereafter, / and seek for grace’ . . . with its suggestion that he is about to enter the first stage of the upward progression of the soul, comes when Prospero has apparently abandoned” his magic and his attempts to uplift Caliban ([Rowman and Littlefield: Manchester University Press, 1980], 131).
Utah Shakespeare Festival 29 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 However, if Caliban has learned anything by the end of the play, it is only in relation to his island and potential usurpers. The only times Caliban actually admits to making mistakes are when he expresses regret for showing Prospero the island, saying, “Cursed be I that did so” (1.2.339), and when he sees Stephano and Trinculo for what they are, promising “to be wise hereafter” and exclaiming, “What a thrice-double ass / Was I to take this drunkard for a god” (5.1.295 97) . Prospero finds more subjects for experimentation when his enemies sail within his sphere of influ- ence. Once he has orchestrated the shipwreck, he scatters the passengers across the island, guiding Ferdinand to Miranda; leading Stephano and Trinculo to Caliban and into treason; and leaving Alonso with his own grief, Gonzalo’s optimism, and Sebastian’s and Antonio’s conspiracies. Prospero finds little to recommend human nature through his experiments with these other people, sees no remedy for “natural” human corruption; and, furthermore, he observes no sign of penitence in Antonio, who has demonstrated that his “sin’s not accidental but a trade” (Measure for Measure 3.1.148). But Prospero’s most important (and most successful) experiment involves himself. “Within Prospero himself . . . we glimpse intermittently the struggle, or internal tempest, between the humane impulse towards mercy and the instinctive appetite for revenge” (Wilders, New Prefaces to Shakespeare [Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1988], 273). Initially, Prospero is determined to avenge the wrongs he has suffered, but his revenge rarely takes a physical form. He is almost obsessed with inflicting emotional pain on Antonio, Alonzo, and Sebastian; although he expresses concern for the physical well-being of the ship’s passengers in act 1, scene 2, Prospero is very much pleased with the maddening effects of Ariel’s tempest. The punish- ments Prospero inflicts on the “three men of sin” (3.3.53) are purely mental ones. The only people Prospero deliberately causes bodily harm are Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo, and they are harmed only because they do not possess the sensibilities necessary to respond to (and learn from) intellec- tual discipline. While Antonio, Alonso, and Sebastian may, under Prospero’s influence, regret their actions, it is unclear whether they have learned from their mistakes and have changed their natures, or whether they are merely more sophisticated Caliban, “Which any print of goodness wilt not take, / Being capable of all ill” (1.2.352 53). Whatever the case, Prospero realizes, with Gonzalo’s tears and Ariel’s prompting (“Mine would, sir, were I human” [5.1.20]), that if he is to become fully human, he must forgive his enemies, abandon his magic, and return to his dukedom. With this realization, Prospero gathers everyone together for the final scene and makes a brave attempt at forgiveness and understanding. Ultimately, Prospero discovers what it means to be human; the Prospero of the epilogue is the result of his own self-nurturing, his own proof that, in some circumstances, environment can tri- umph over (or at least counter-balance) heredity. He has recognized “the Ariel and the Caliban of which his own—and our—nature consists” (Wilders, New Prefaces to Shakespeare, 273); he has found the answer to the dilemma of nature vs. nurture in his own psyche, and with this knowledge he returns to the human society of Milan a more balanced, more complete human being than when he left it.
30 Utah Shakespeare Festival 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 Prospero’s Many Roles By Ace G. Pilkington and Heidi Madsen From Insights, 2001 Shakespeare asks in a song from The Two Gentlemen of Verona, “Who is Silvia, what is she?” (The Signet Classic Shakespeare [New York: The American Library of World Literature, 1964], 4.2.38). The central question of The Tempest may well be, “Who is Prospero, what is he?” Of course, no one sings it; love songs are usually written to young women, not to middle-aged wizards, but, nevertheless, many people ask it, and the strange and different answers they receive make much of the magic of the play. Stephen Orgel says, “More even than Hamlet, the play tempts us to fill in its blanks, to create a history that will account for its action, and most of all for its hero” (The Oxford Shakespeare: The Tempest [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987], 11). In Harold Bloom’s words, “Prospero would be a far apter title than The Tempest” (Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human [New York: Riverhead Books, 1998], 667). In his introduction to The Tempest, Stephen Orgel says, “Prospero is a complex, erratic, and even contradictory figure” (5). It is a judgement (and a confusion) that is echoed by actors. John Gielgud, who voiced all the roles in the film Prospero’s Books and was one of the twentieth century’s most successful stage Prosperos, said he “found it very hard to choose between” interpretations (Shakespeare—Hit Or Miss? [London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1991], 110). Prospero has been taken as a representation of King James I, of Queen Elizabeth I, and, of course, of Shakespeare himself. Indeed, Prospero seems to be so many things that it is easy to sympathize with Harold Bloom’s angry exclusion of at least a few of them, “Marxists, multiculturalists, feminists, nouveau histori- cists—the usual suspects—know their causes but not Shakespeare’s plays” (662). Clearly, Prospero is the rightful duke of Milan, deposed by his wicked brother, Antonio. He is the enemy of Alonso, king of Naples, who helped to depose him, and the friend of Gonzalo, who gave him books for his exile. Prospero is a wizard of great power who controls a host of spirits, including Ariel, a spirit of air and fire, and Caliban, a monster of earth and water. Prospero is the father of Miranda, and her teacher. He is a politician who schemes to regain his place as duke and a matchmaker who plans to marry his daughter to Prince Ferdinand of Naples, son of Alonso. He is a liberator who released Ariel from a magical prison, and a judge who sentenced Caliban to a term of slavery for the attempted rape of Miranda. Prospero looks like a colonizing European who holds all the creatures of a strange new world in thrall, but he is far more benevolent and just than those drunken (and very funny) louts Stephano and Trinculo, who change from servants to masters (and back again) at the spin of a bottle. In the end, Prospero leaves the island, if not as he first found it, at least to its own devices and those of its inhabitants. Prospero is a sort of surrogate playwright, who takes over Shakespeare’s job of shaping the plot. He is an actor in various scenes of his own devising, and he is an expert stage manager, who brings his cast of characters in on cue. As Alvin Kernan says, “In the play, Prospero’s magic is the magic of the theater, his power the theatrical one of staging illusions that deeply move and teach his audi- ence” (Shakespeare, The King’s Playwright [New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995], 161). Like the Duke in Measure for Measure, Prospero learns as he teaches and struggles to refashion his internal landscape as he remakes the island. “Within Prospero himself, moreover, we glimpse intermittently the struggle, or internal tempest, between the humane impulse towards mercy and the instinctive appetite for revenge, the Ariel and Caliban of which his own—and our—nature consists” (John Wilders, New Prefaces to Shakespeare [Oxford: Basil Blackwell Ltd., 1988], 273). Around Prospero but still very much a part of him are yet larger issues. Family and new genera- tions provide the nightmares of his past, the diplomatic struggles of his present, and the dreams of
Utah Shakespeare Festival 31 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 his fairer future. Renaissance political theorists equated the power of the king with the power of the father in a family, and Prospero is both. His roles are complex here and so intertwined that they seem to have grown up together, like some strange vegetation of the magical island. The fate of the dukedom of Milan is a good example of such intertwinings. In return for Alonso’s support in deposing Prospero, Antonio subjected Milan to Naples. Stephen Orgel says, “Prospero has recouped his throne from his brother only to deliver it over, upon his death, to the King of Naples once again” (54). The idea is that Miranda as heir to Milan prevents Antonio from ever getting it back even when Prospero dies, so that the wizard’s power (and perhaps his revenge) extends even beyond the grave. However, “if Miranda is heir to the dukedom, Milan, through the marriage will become part of the kingdom of Naples, not the other way round” (Orgel 54). But the issue is, of course, more complicated and ultimately more satisfying. As Muriel B. Ingham says in A Reader’s Guide to Shakespeare, “In few of his other plays has Shakespeare cre- ated a closer relationship between the human and natural universes. In The Tempest, beauty and ugliness, good and evil, and cruelty and gentleness are matched with the external environment, and everything works toward a positive reconciliation of the best in both humans and nature” (Joseph Rosenblum [New York: Barnes & Noble, 1999], 274). All of Prospero’s manipulations, his education of Miranda, his reconstruction of political reality, and his physical and spiritual transformations on the island will be blessed by that natural cleansing, that inevitable fresh- ening, the coming of new generations. Antonio will be kept from regaining the dukedom by Miranda, and Milan will be raised up again by Prospero’s grandchild, descendent of both Naples and Milan, and ruler of both. Mercy and reconciliation will end in regeneration as nature and human nature renew themselves. Renewal is the promise of all Shakespeare’s romances, and no play or character promises it more emphatically than The Tempest and Prospero.
32 Utah Shakespeare Festival 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 “But This Rough Magic I Here Abjure” By Diana Major Spencer From Midsummer Magazine, 2001 Obviously the dominant character in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Prospero is most often portrayed as just that: the Supreme Chess Master, the Sovereign Puppeteer. He imperiously floats in and out of scenes (even when Shakespeare doesn’t mention him), hanging about the wings to observe and approve Ariel’s achievements and to plot occasional diversions for Ferdinand and torments for Caliban—always in charge, always above the fray. He serenely gathers his enemies around his cell for his even-tempered, if condescending, forgiveness. Often identified with the Bard at career’s end, an old man with flowing robes and beard, bid- ding adieu to his books and magic and to “ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes, and groves” (5.1.33), with a fifteen-year-old daughter, he could be anywhere between thirty and ninety. Perhaps Shakespeare meant this tempest, this brush with revenge, to be not the expression of an old man’s indignation, pique and superior power, but rather an important lesson for a younger man on his way to maturity, which includes among its qualities forgiveness, peace, and humanity. Many lines suggest a younger man, confused by anger, deeply wronged by his brother and his king, and genuinely impassioned by the opportunity for retribution presented by “bountiful Fortune . . . [that] hath mine enemies / Brought to this shore” (1.2.178 80). Quickened by the “most auspicious star” upon which his “zenith doth depend,” he must expedite his revenge or watch his “fortunes . . . ever after droop” (1.2.181 84). For twelve years, caught between despair over his “extirpation” from Milan and the “fortitude” he derived from the “cherubin . . . that did preserve me” (1.2.152 54), he has ruled a diminished “dukedom”—Miranda, Ariel, Caliban, and his “meaner ministers” (3.3.87). Now, at last, he has power to get even. Prospero’s agitation and anger, symbolized by the storm, punctuate the long family-history exposition. Miranda usually fidgets or nods off—as teenagers are wont to do at such times— requiring that Prospero call her attention back to his narrative. But consider the context of the alerts: “My brother and thy uncle, call’d Antonio— / I pray thee mark me—that a brother should / Be so perfidious” (1.2.66 68); “Thy false uncle— / Dost thou attend me?” (1.2.77 78); “Now he was / The ivy which had hid my princely trunk, / And suck’d my verdure out on’t. Thou attend’st not!” (1.2.85 87); “Hence his ambition growing— / Dost thou hear?” (1.2.105 106). Every time, Antonio is the topic, illuminating, like a thunderbolt, the focus of Prospero’s anger. Miranda’s bore- dom or somnolence is irrelevant. Then Miranda meets Ferdinand, which rattles Prospero’s composure in another direction. Three asides during their first conversation express Prospero’s delight that his spell is working: “It goes on, I see, / As my soul prompts it” (1.2.430 31); “At the first sight / They have chang’d eyes” (1.2.441 42); “It [my spell] works” (1.2.494). Each time, moreover, he gleefully adds, “Ariel, I’ll set you free for this.” Rather than, “Ho-hum, just as I expected, the spell’s working; nice work, Ariel,” the tone I hear is, “Hey! Wow! The spell’s working. I owe you big-time for this, Ariel! Yes!” Sometimes Prospero’s outbursts are calculated, as when Miranda demands, “Why speaks my father so ungently?” (1.2.445), at Prospero’s attempts to make “this swift business . . . uneasy, lest too light winning / Make the prize light” (1.2.451 53). After forty more lines of his chiding, she assures Ferdinand that “my father’s of a better nature, sir, / Than he appears by speech. This is unwonted / Which now came from him” (1.2.496 99). Later, he is beset by spontaneous agita- tion when his joy in entertaining the lovers overshadows Caliban’s plot. Ferdinand notes, “Your father’s in some passion / That works him strongly.” Miranda replies, “Never till this day / Saw I him touch’d with anger, so distemper’d” (4.1.143 45). Prospero himself admits to being “vex’d” and
Utah Shakespeare Festival 33 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 having a troubled brain and “beating mind” (4.1.158 63). The truest test of Prospero’s changing emotions, however, occurs as Act 5 opens. Prospero appears in full regalia, boasting of the certainty of his success: “Now does my project gather to a head. / My charms crack not; my spirits obey; and Time / Goes upright with his carriage” (5.1.1 3). Reporting on the “King and ’s followers,” Ariel observes, “Your charm so strongly works ’em / That if you now beheld them, your affections / Would become tender” (5.1.17 20). Would become tender signifies that Prospero’s affections (i.e., emotions) are not affectionate (i.e., tender); if Prospero were already leaning toward compassion, would Ariel use these words? Prospero queries, “Thinks’t thou so, spirit?” “I would, sir, were I human.” “And mine shall,” resolves Prospero. The next twelve lines dissolve Prospero’s anger, confusion, distemper, and vengefulness. “Have you,” he asks Ariel, “who are but air, a feeling for their afflictions, and shall I, a member of the human race with human passions as keenly felt, not be more humanely mov’d than you are?” (5.1.21 24, paraphrased). Ariel has reminded Prospero, not of his power, but of his humanity. Shakespeare has revealed a man as furious as the storm, who increasingly relishes the dis- comfiture of his enemies until now, when Ariel suggests a better way. “Though with their high wrongs I am strook to th’ quick,” Prospero continues, “Yet, with my nobler reason, ’gainst my fury / Do I take part” (5.1.25 27). Because “The rarer action is / In virtue than in vengeance” (5.1.27 28), Prospero opts for mercy: “They being penitent, / The sole drift of my purpose doth extend / Not a frown further. Go, release them, Ariel” (5.1.28 30). Commentators on Prospero as Shakespeare’s end-of-career alter-ego sometimes merge the two “farewells to the stage.” It is well to remember that “Our revels” refers specifically to the masque prepared for the newly betrothed to occupy their attention while they’re being chaste. “Ye elves” follows Prospero’s revealing change of heart: Immediately after instructing Ariel to release the captives, he adds, “My charms I’ll break, their senses I’ll restore, / And they shall be themselves” (5.1.31 32). Ariel leaves to “fetch them, sir” (5.1.32), whereupon Prospero “traces a magic circle with his staff” and begins, “Ye elves of hills,” etc., and all you other creatures “by whose aid . . . I have bedimm’d / The noontide sun” and made huge storms that uprooted trees, “and all my other spells and charms—But this rough magic / I here abjure,” and when I’ve restored those now “in my pow’r” (3.3.90), “I’ll break my staff, / Bury it certain fadoms in the earth,/ And deeper than ever did plummet sound / I’ll drown my book” (5.1.33 57). Recalling that his books and studies prompted Prospero’s “abdication” of Milan—“me (poor man) my library / Was dukedom large enough” (1.2.109 10); “Knowing I lov’d my books, [Gonzalo] furnish’d me / From mine own library with volumes that/ I prize [present tense] above my dukedom” (1.2.166 68)—we can appreciate the powerful transformation he has undergone. As much as he loved his books and his power, thanks to Ariel he now understands, after much turmoil, that the greater goods are forgiveness, peace, and humanity. (All line numbers refer to The Riverside Shakespeare [Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1974]; emphases are the author’s.)
34 Utah Shakespeare Festival 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 The Outer Show and the Inner Truth By Elaine Pilkington, From Insights, 2007 One of Shakespeare’s last plays, The Tempest is a culmination of his life’s work with familiar situ- ations, common motifs, and echoing themes. Audiences are immediately comfortable with The Tempest—the oft repeated relationships of ruler and subject, master and servant, father and daughter, young lover and worthy lady; its use of the transforming power of music, magic, and time; and its explo- ration of the nature of humanity and the disparity between illusion and reality, between the outer show and inner truth. Despite its familiarity, The Tempest is unique unto itself, a new story that also summa- rizes and perhaps even transcends the old ones. Central to the play is Prospero’s island. Like the woods outside of Athens in A Midsummer Night’s Dream or the Forest of Arden in As You Like It, this uncharted island is part of the green world, as Northrop Frye called that natural place where characters find themselves and lose a few of their flaws. However, it is more than just a place removed from the ordinary traffic of man. “[T]he isle is full of noises, / Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not” (3.2.135–36; all references to the play are from The Riverside Shakespeare, [Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1974]). Originally peopled only by the spirit Ariel, the monstrous Caliban, and all manner of supernatural entities, the island providentially becomes the home of Prospero and Miranda. As Duke of Milan, Prospero had been absorbed with the pursuit of knowledge, delegating his broth- er Antonio to rule for him, but he was oblivious to his brother’s greed for power and position. With the help of Alonzo, the King of Naples, Antonio seized the dukedom and banished Prospero and Miranda to an almost certain death cast adrift in a “rotten carcass of a butt, not rigg’d, / Nor tackle, sail, nor mast” (1.2.146–47). Shipwrecked on the island, Prospero continues his study, but his focus is broadened in his twelve-year exile. Separated from Milan, he creates a new kingdom over which to reign. His rule is benign. He teaches Caliban, attempts to civilize him, and punishes him only because he must. He can- not allow him to rape Miranda or destroy the order of the island. Ariel and the other spirits of the island are also his subjects. They are not mistreated and are eventually freed. Prospero serves his apprentice- ship and learns how to rule. His talents are demonstrated when his brother and the Neapolitans are shipwrecked in a storm on his island kingdom. With Ariel to do his bidding and other spirits to perform as commanded, Prospero carefully orchestrates the tempest, the dispersing of the characters, and what they are allowed to see and do. His art is perfected. Never are they harmed, never are they in danger. Any discomfort, either physical or emotional, is temporary, occurring only to lead them to the possibility of a positive transformation. Prospero’s exile on the island has also taught him to be a father. Here he has learned to care for another and has integrated human interaction into his character. Miranda remembers a time when more than four or five ladies waited upon her. On the island Prospero is exclusively in charge of her upbring- ing. With his loving guidance, Miranda has become a consummate princess—in speech, in bearing, in compassion. Prospero tells her that as her schoolmaster he made her “more profit / Than other prin- cess’ can, that have more time / For vainer hours, and tutors not so careful” (1.2.172–74). According to Caliban, Prospero calls Miranda “a nonpareil” (3.2.100). Ferdinand immediately falls in love with her and says to her, “[Y]ou, / So perfect and so peerless, are created / of every creature’s best!” (3.1.46–48). As a child, her gentle, compassionate nature prompted her to teach Caliban (1.2.353-58). She fears greatly for the ship’s passengers in the tempest (1.2.1–13), and later offers to perform Sebastian’s labor for him (3.1.23–25).
Utah Shakespeare Festival 35 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 The Tempest shows the positive traits of humankind exemplified by Prospero and Miranda, but no character is merely a representation of virtue. Prospero is still understandably angry about his brother’s treachery, and he harshly (but wisely) tests Ferdinand’s love for Miranda. Gonzolo helped Prospero when he was exiled and seems a positive character, but his optimism is not without naivety. Antonio and Sebastian, on the other hand, seem to lack any virtues. They are arrogant and rude to the crew dur- ing the tempest, contributing nothing but interfering with the dangerous job of saving the ship. In short, all characteristics of humanity are represented in the play. One of the most prevalent is lust. Antonio’s lust for temporal power compels him to displace Prospero as duke and banish him and his daughter Miranda. Antonio also easily seduces Sebastian to attempt to murder his own brother Alonzo, the King of Naples, to usurp his kingdom even though he and his brother are shipwrecked together with no certain means of return. Stephano is just as easily convinced to kill Prospero in order to rule the island with Miranda as his queen and Caliban and Trinculo as viceroys, his drunkenness preventing him from deducing that Miranda might object to such a bond with her father’s murderer. Tied to the desire for power are lust and greed. Both Caliban and Stephano desire Miranda. Quelled in his attempt to possess her himself, Caliban readily offers her to Stephano as part of the reward pack- age for killing Prospero. Being the sovereign of the island or of Milan has the added inducement of wealth, appealing to the greed of Stephano and Sebastian. Alonzo helped Antonio because of an estab- lished enmity toward Prospero but also because Antonio agreed to pay him tribute for his help. Having paid Alonzo for twelve years, Antonio eagerly urges Sebastian to kill Alonzo and become the King of Naples, ending Antonio’s payment. In so many plays, Shakespeare explores the differences between illusion and reality, but in The Tempest illusion and reality are the same. Though the courtly figures from Naples and Milan cannot see Ariel and are mystified by his spells questioning their own senses, Ariel is real. Prospero’s magic is real. The Tempest, the food, the entities that deliver it and remove it, the sea-drenched clothing made fresh and new, the rich apparel to transform Stephano from drunken butler to lord of the island are real. They seem illusion because they are foreign to the common experience and cannot be explained by the newcomers. Life is a mixture of good and evil, spiritual and temporal, the magical and the mundane. Perspective alters individual perception, but The Tempest offers a full vision of reality.
36 Utah Shakespeare Festival 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 The Wizard in The Tempest By Ace G. Pilkington As I write this, wizards are everywhere—in movies, television, books, and even theme parks. J. R. R. Tolkien’s Gandalf has just been featured in the first film of a three-part adaptation of The Hobbit. The six books of the Harry Potter series are inescapable, and their eight film incarnations (completed in 2011) have racked up $7.7 billion, making it the highest grossing film series ever, if inflation isn’t taken into account (“Movie Franchises,” The Numbers—Box Office Data, Movie Stars, Idle Speculation [February 9, 2013, http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/franchises]). The BBC television’s The Adventures of Merlin is running on the Syfy channel, and has been broadcast in 182 other countries (Steve Clarke, “BBC Conjures Up More Merlin,” Variety Europe [October 25, 2010, http://www.variety.com/article/ VR1118026310]). Disney recently purchased the Star Wars franchise, and there will soon be additional films, complete with more versions of George Lucas’s wizards in space. And this is without mentioning writers such as Terry Pratchett and Jim Butcher, whose very successful careers have been driven by men with magical wands. Wizards were popular in Shakespeare’s time as well. In fact, David Woodman maintains that “most audiences possessed such a truly commonplace knowledge of magic, both black and white, that a popu- lar response to Prospero as a white magician was assured” (White Magic and English Renaissance Drama [Rutherford, New Jersey: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1973], 73). While such a subject might seem unlikely or even dangerous in a time when witches were still burned, Anthony Harris argues that, “Such an attitude is in accord with the spirit of the romantic comedies of the early sixteenth century, where wizards and enchanters were honoured and the legality of their magical practices was unques- tioned” (Night’s Black Agents: Witchcraft and Magic in Seventeenth-Century English Drama [Rowman and Littlefield: Manchester Univeristy Press, 1980], 117). Or as Leontes puts it in The Winter’s Tale, “If this be magic, let it be an art/ Lawful as eating” (5.3.10–11; all references to line numbers are from The Complete Pelican Shakespeare, Ed. Alfred Harbage [Baltimore, Maryland: Penguin Books, 1971]). It is, after all, very different from the black magician who dealt with demons to do good or ill, and still further removed from witchcraft that required the witch to trade his or her soul for power. White magic even had an elaborate philosophical justification. Those writers who believed with Cornelius Agrippa that “good daemons can be attracted and bad ones repelled” (Wayne Shumaker, The Occult Sciences in the Renaissance: A Study in Intellectual Patterns [Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972], 151–2) were willing to accept the white magician on his own terms, as a Neoplatonist philoso- pher who “sought to refine his soul and gain a direct knowledge of God” (Woodman 30). In this view a creature like Ariel is not an evil demon but, as C. S. Lewis puts it in The Discarded Image, a member of “a third rational species distinct from angels and men” ([Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1964], 134), which served as a bridge between them. So in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Emergence,” Data, who is playing Prospero on the holodeck, responds to Captain Picard’s criticism by saying, “I am supposed to be attempting a Neoplatonic magical rite.” It is, indeed, in this elaborate context that Shakespeare’s original audience would have viewed Prospero and from this perspective that they would have seen that the wizard has both multiple motives and magical means for revenge. He has struggled to control his passions as he has worked to master his spells, bending both to his benevolent ends. He has all the marks of the white magician, from his empha- sis on chastity to his challenge to the dark power of the witch Sycorax. He has planned from the first to forgive Alonso and marry Miranda to Ferdinand. When the last moment of decision comes, Prospero’s resolve holds firm, “The rarer action is/ In virtue than in vengeance. They being penitent,/ The sole drift of my purpose doth extend/ Not a frown further” (5.1.27–30). Ariel, his daemon, who possesses what Katharine Briggs describes as “a certain ethereal benevo- lence” (The Anatomy of Puck [New York: Arno Press, 1977], 53), stands beside him. As Caliban sinks
Utah Shakespeare Festival 37 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 below humanness with the heavy load of his unnatural appetites, Ariel rises above it into the fire and air which are his natural elements. Prosper stands on the edge of a heavenly transcendence, ready to rise past his humanness to something greater. This too is characteristic of the white magician. But Prospero, and this is at the center of Shakespeare’s play, makes a different choice. He has the power to abandon all his troubles by going beyond them. And if he stays where he is, he has the means to create the utopia that Gonzalo only talks of. Ferdinand foresees a perfect society with Prospero in control, “Let me live here ever!/ So rare a wondred father and a wise/ Makes this place Paradise” (4.1.122–124). The wizard’s society would require no effort; magical servants would do everything. As in Stephano’s fantasy, everyone on the island would have his music (and all else) for free. However, Prospero is wise enough to see in the midst of his wonders that this society without struggle, this community of concord, would either be something like Gonzalo’s vision of nonhuman innocence or Sebastian’s picture of inhuman evil. John Wilders says, “The effortlessly happy existence imagined by Gonzalo would be possible only if the consequences of the Fall could be annulled” (The Lost Garden: A View of Shakespeare’s English and Roman History Plays [London: The Macmillan Press, Ltd., 1978], 130). Only if, in fact, Prospero and his subjects could cease to be human. Ultimately, the white wizard, the overreacher who has his impossible gift almost within his grasp, chooses humanness. The expression of this decision comes just after the most poignant of all his encounters with Ariel, that guardian of a strange and alien threshold who has made a kind of reverse crossing. Ariel reports the sufferings of the three men of sin and the “good old lord Gonzalo”; then he says, “if you now beheld them,/ Your affections would become tender.” Prospero responds, “Dost thou think so, spirit?” The line that follows is hedged round with wonder, “Mine would, sir, were I human” (5.1.18¬20). In the words of Katharine Briggs, “It seems to contain in it the meaning behind all those stories of the Neck and the mermaid and the Scottish fairy who long for human souls, a sudden sharp reminder of the humanity we lose and insult by silly grudges” (53). Whatever Prospero’s state of mind may be at this point (perhaps it is that last hesitation which comes before a great decision, long ago made, carefully reached for and at last grasped), his next speech is definitely an affirmation of human values, “Hast thou, which art but air, a touch, a feeling/ Of their afflictions, and shall not myself,/ One of their kind, that relish all as sharply/ Passion as they, be kindlier moved than thou art?” (5.1.21-24). Like Marlowe’s Mephistophilis with his comment on heaven, “’tis not half so fair/ As thou, or any man that breathes on earth” (Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus: Text and Major Criticsm, Ed. Irving Ribner [New York: The Odyssey Press, Inc., 1966], 2.2.6–7), Ariel speaks from beyond the boundaries of earth about the value of humanness. It cannot be an accident, a chance textual juxtaposition, that places Prospero’s final renunciation of his powers only a few pulse beats later. The wizard has crossed the boundary, enlarged his mind, subdued his passions, and come back to everyday reality with a new appreciation for the complex, confusing, contrary but glorious nature of humanness. As John Wilders puts it, “Gonzalo’s dream is an ideal by which we can measure the painful temporary, half-successful attempts at government made by Shakespeare’s historical rulers generally” (130). But Gonzalo’s dream (and Prospero’s experience) is also a means by which we can measure the limits of the human condition, the dangers beyond it, and the values which it shelters. The power and passion of humanness transcend the perfection that is above humanity and the destruction that is below it; they are more immediately vital and ultimately meaningful than the airy spheres of daemons or the earthy circles of demons. Perhaps it is this complexity in the play, this multi- plicity of vision, this complicated humanness that has generated so much argument. Barbara A. Mowat, in “Prospero, Agrippa, and Hocus Pocus,” points out the conflicting traditions from magus to conjuror, from dramatist to illusionist, that make up the play. But this “blending of seriousness with jest, of revela-
38 Utah Shakespeare Festival 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 tion with bewilderment,” (English Literary Renaissance issue 2, 1981, 303) is not only “the won- der of Prospero himself” (303), it is also the wonder of being human and the central subject of this magical play. The white wizard, the powerful mage, is also a duke, a father, and though it may “infect” his mouth to say it, a brother. At the last, he acknowledges not only Antonio but also Caliban, he breaks his staff, frees Ariel, and goes back to Milan—with the help of the audience’s applause. Shakespeare has made it clear that no Neoplatonic rite will save us from our lives by making us more than human, though it may show us the way to a better, sharper humanness, guided as Prospero is by his love for Miranda and for that fiery helper of his who lighted him on his true way.
Utah Shakespeare Festival 39 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 Famous Words and Phrases Methinks he hath no drowning mark upon him, his complexion is perfect gallows. —Gonzalo, 1.1.28–30
In the dark backward and abysm of time? —Prospero, 1.2.50
You taught me language, and my profit on’t Is, I know how to curse. —Caliban, 1.2.363–364
Full fadom five thy father lies, Of his bones are coral made: Those are pearls that were his eyes: Nothing of him that doth fade, But doth suffer a sea-change Into something rich and strange. Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell. —Ariel, 1.2.397–403
There’s nothing ill can dwell in such a temple. If the ill spirit have so fair a house, Good things will strive to dwell with’t. —Miranda, 1.2.457–459
He receives comfort like cold porridge. —Sebastian, 2.1.10
Whereof what’s past is prologue, what to come In yours and my discharge. —Antonio, 2.1.253-254
They’ll take suggestion as a cat laps milk. —Antonio, 2.1.288
Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows. —Trinculo, 2.2.39–40
Keep a good tongue in your head. —Stephano, 3.2.35
Be not afeard, the isle is full of noises, Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not. —Caliban, 3.2.135–136
40 Utah Shakespeare Festival 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits, and Are melted into air, into thin air, And like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which is inherit, shall dissolve, And like this insubstantial pageant faded Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on; and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. —Prospero, 4.1.148–158
Where the bee sucks, there suck I In a cowslip’s bell I lie; There I couch when owls do cry. On the bat’s back I do fly After summer merrily. —Ariel, 5.1.88–92
How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world That has such people in’t! —Miranda, 5.1.182–184
Utah Shakespeare Festival 41 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 Text in Shakespeare It’s no secret that Shakespeare’s plays have some complex language. They are often thought of as wordy, complicated, or hard to understand. The reality is that in his day Shakespeare was writing for the masses. Though modern speech has evolved away from “thee” and “thou,” we can pick up on clues in the text and Shakespeare’s works become easier to decipher and enjoy. The first thing you need to know is that there are two types of speech in Shakespeare’s plays: verse and prose. And despite being full of flowery language, they are very different from each other.
Verse The majority of Shakespeare’s plays are written in verse. A character who speaks in verse is a noble or a member of the upper class. Most of Shakespeare’s plays focused on these characters. This speech is poetry. It can either rhyme or not (also called blank verse) but each line has an internal rhythm with a regular rhythmic pattern. The pattern most favored by Shakespeare is iambic pentameter. Iambic pen- tameter is defined as a ten-syllable line with the accent on every other syllable, beginning with the sec- ond one.
Example: PROSPERO: So dear the love my people bore me, nor set A mark so bloody on the business, but With colours fairer painted their foul ends.
These lines are written in blank verse and iambic pentameter.
Prose Prose is the form of speech used by common people in Shakespearean drama. There is no rhythm or meter in the line. It is everyday language. Shakespeare’s audience would recognize the speech as their language. Mainly, characters such as murderers, servants, and porters use prose; however, many impor- tant characters can also speak in prose.
Example: TRINCULO: Here’s neither bush nor shrub, to bear off any weather at all, and another storm brew- ing; I hear it sing i’ the wind: yond same black cloud, yond huge one, looks like a foul bombard that would shed his liquor.
Trinculo is a drunken servant and therefore spends most of his time speaking in prose. In these lines there is no meter or rhythmic pattern.
42 Utah Shakespeare Festival 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 Themes and Motifs Theatre The Tempest is one of the few Shakespearean plays that uses theatre as a major motif. Between the masque put on for Ferdinand and Miranda to all of the magical spectacles that Ariel and Prospero per- form, the subject of theatre and theatrical devices can be found throughout the play. Prospero even has a line that could be referencing the Globe Theatre where the play was performed.
Magic The use of magic in The Tempest is interesting considering the time Shakespeare was writing. These were the days of occultists being burned at the stake, and worldwide people still feared that which was unexplainable. Shakespeare was careful to present Prospero as a scholar who focused his attentions on rational magic instead of occultist incantations. As a result, we have a character who can control the mys- tic forces on the island without wallowing in the dark and “sinful” areas of magic that was so unpopular with the masses. To further highlight the difference between Prospero’s scholarly approach to his craft, Shakespeare cast Sycorax (Caliban’s mother) as a dark witch who worshipped the devil and used that same occultist magic that everyone feared. As a result ,she had a cursed child and could not control sprites like Ariel. Her magic is described to us as ugly, dark, and terrible while Prospero is good and light and beautiful.
Colonialism In Shakespeare’s day much of the world was still unexplored. Ships were constantly leaving for and returning from voyages to exotic lands such as the Caribbean. Many sailors brought back stories of sav- age natives and beautiful islands. While it’s easy to see how such tales of adventure inspired the setting of the play, Shakespeare took it one step further and looked at how colonization affects those native to the land. The Tempest is now one of the most cited works when discussing the topic of Colonialism. Scholars tend to look at Caliban and his enslavement as a literary representation of the settling of the Caribbean and the Americas. He was a native who helped the foreigner, showed him all the secrets the island possessed and was then enslaved. Ariel, on the other hand, was rescued by Prospero. Though under a master’s hand, he is free to do as he pleases as long as he carries out Prospero’s demands. While we cannot be sure whether or not Shakespeare was for or against colonization, his work certainly leaves enough material for a debate on either side.
Psychology Early psychologist Sigmund Freud believed a person’s psyche was composed of three parts. The id, ego, and super-ego. The id is the basest part of a person’s personality, it is responsible for instinctual wants and desires. It is what kept humans alive back in our caveman days. The ego is the part of our mind that helps the id get what it wants by behaving properly. A good example of this is when a child learns to say please to get what it wants instead of throwing a tantrum. Lastly the super-ego acts as our conscience. It polices our behaviors and keeps the other parts in check. It is the part of our brain that makes us feel good when we have done something well and bad when we have not. Whether or not this is true, we can see those three parts of a person’s personality reflected in characters in The Tempest. Caliban, impulsive, wild, and savage, would be the id. Calculated, refined, and trusted, Ariel fits the role of ego. Lastly, Prospero as the super-ego dictates directions to both and keeps them in control.
Utah Shakespeare Festival 43 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 The Tempest in Modern Terms Activity: Have the students translate one of the two speeches below into their own words, encouraging the use of slang, colloquialisms, or regional jargon.
Caliban I must eat my dinner. This island’s mine by Sycorax my mother, Which thou tak’st from me. When thou cam’st first, Thou strok’st me and made much of me, wouldst give me Water with berries in’t, and teach me how To name the bigger light, and how the less, That burn by day and night; and then I lov’d thee And show’d thee all the qualities o’ th’ isle, The fresh springs, brine-pits, barren place and fertile. Curs’d be I that did so! All the charms Of Sycorax, toads, beetles, bats, light on you! For I am all the subjects that you have, Which first was mine own king; and here you sty me In this hard rock, whiles you do keep from me The rest o’ th’ island (1.2.330–344).
Caliban All the infections that the sun sucks up From bogs, fens, flats, on Prosper fall, and make him By inch-meal a disease! His spirits hear me, And yet I needs must curse. But they’ll nor pinch, Fright me with urchin-shows, pitch me i’ th’ mire, Nor lead me, like a fire-brand, in the dark Out of my way, unless he bid ‘em; but For every trifle are they set upon me, Sometime like apes that mow and chatter at me, And after bite me; then like hedgehogs which Lie tumbling in my barefoot way, and mount Their pricks at my footfall; sometime am I All wound with adders, who with cloven tongues Do hiss me into madness (2.2.1–14).
44 Utah Shakespeare Festival 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 The Tempest in Film William Woodman directed a film version of The Tempest in 1985, which stars Ephrem Zimbalist Jr. as Prospero. The production is a filmed stage performance in traditional dress. It also stars William H. Bassett, Ted Sorel, and Ron Palillo. Paul Mazursky directed a modernized film version of The Tempest in 1982, which stars Molly Ringwald as Miranda and Susan Sarandon as Aretha. This movie is set upon a remote Greek island and is very loosely based on Shakespeare’s play. The tale centers on a middle-aged New York architect who abandons his wife and moves to the island with his teen-age daughter and his new lover, Aretha, in hopes of finding meaning in his life. The only resident of the island is an old hermit, and the father is finally happy until his wife, her lover, his son, and others get in a shipwreck and end up marooned on the island with him. Jack Bender directed a made for television movie of The Tempest in 1998, which starred Peter Fonda as Gideon Prosper and Katherine Heigl as Miranda Prosper. This adaptation of Shakespeare’s play is set in the Mississippi bayous during the Civil War. Peter Greenaway directed Prospero’s Books in 1991, which tells the story of The Tempest played out through dance and words. Sir John Gielgud speaks all of the dialogue in the play as Prospero. This uniquely structured retelling of The Tempest uses Prospero’s magic books to form the central plot. Fred McLeod Wilcox directed Forbidden Planet in 1956, which is a science fiction version of The Tempest. In the movie, space travelers visit a planet where the ruler has built his own empire, with only his daughter and Robby the Robot as companions. Activity: Depending on availability, have students view one or more of these films for an independent or group project. Have them make an oral presentation to the class about the different approaches used by directors to cast the various characters or to explain the motivation of characters. In the presentation, use short film clips to illustrate the different approaches of several directors. Discuss why the directors chose the approaches they employed. Which are the most successful and why? Question: Can you name some of Shakespeare’s plays, which have been made into movies recently, and some famous actors in them? Answer: Hamlet with Kenneth Branagh; another Hamlet with Mel Gibson; Richard III with Ian McKellen; A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Kevin Kline, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Rupert Everett; Much Ado about Nothing with Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, and Michael Keaton; Henry V with Kenneth Branagh; Romeo and Juliet with Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio; Othello with Laurence Fishburne and Kenneth Branagh; Love’s Labour’s Lost with Alicia Silverstone, Nathan Lane, and Kenneth Branagh; and The Merchant of Venice with Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons.
Utah Shakespeare Festival 45 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 Discussion Questions The Tempest is believed to have been written around 1610–1611 and was likely the last play William Shakespeare wrote before his death in 1616. Some scholars draw parallels between Prospero leaving his magic behind at the end of the play to Shakespeare retiring his quill, while others believe it was purely coincidental. Elementary School - Discussion Questions 1. Why is it significant that the play begins with a storm at sea? 2. If you were shipwrecked, what five personal items would you try to save and why? 3. Think about how you might tell a close friend the story of your past. How would you tend to characterize yourself and your actions in your story? What about Prospero’s story? Does he take any responsibility for what happened to him? Should he? 4. At the very end of the play Prospero decides to forgive his enemies. Why do you think he does this? 5. What connection does Shakespeare establish between outward appearance and inner spirit? Do you think this is true? Why or why not? 6. Caliban was a very unkind character. Do you think he was always this way? Do you think the way Prospero treats him has made him cruel? 7. Have you ever been angry with a friend or sibling? Has a friend or sibling ever been angry with you? How upset were you? How did you deal with your anger? Looking back on the experience, would you have done anything differently? How did Prospero deal with his anger? Did he deal with it appropriately? 8. Compare and contrast Ariel and Caliban. How are they the same? How are they different? Middle/High School Discussion Questions 1. Why does Miranda have such immediate empathy for the men in the ship? Why is she so mer- ciful towards the shipwreck victims but has only contempt and hatred for Caliban? Since we learn that she has lived on the deserted island with her father since childhood, where would she have learned these ideas? Why do they differ between the men and Caliban? 2. In Shakespeare’s day women were not allowed to perform on stage. This explains why Shakespeare included only one female character in The Tempest. Look closely at the way each character speaks to Miranda and the way Miranda speaks for herself. How do you think society viewed women then? How is it similar or different to its view of women today? 3. Prospero is overthrown by his brother before the play ever begins. Political uprising is a plot device Shakespeare uses in quite a few of his works. How is that theme still relevant today? 4. What is your reaction to Prospero’s treatment of Caliban? Does Caliban have a legitimate complaint against Prospero? Why does Prospero keep Caliban as his servant even when he
46 Utah Shakespeare Festival 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 despises him? Why do you think Caliban attempted to “violate the honor” of Miranda? Did he or is this the way his acts were interpreted by Prospero and Miranda? 5. How has Caliban changed throughout his time with Prospero and Miranda? After they leave, how will he respond to having the island to himself again? View clips of Tom Hanks in Castaway. Do human beings require human interactions to survive? 6. What does it take to form a real relationship? Do Miranda and Ferdinand form a real relation- ship through the course of the play? Does love-at-first sight really exist? 7. What is power? Why do people want power? How do people go about obtaining power? Is the quest for power worth it at all costs? How does Prospero go about regaining his power? Are his methods just? If you could obtain your ultimate power what would it be and how would you go about obtaining it? 8. The idea of forgiveness and revenge is a major theme in The Tempest. Find a major example of each in the text and use it to answer the following question. Is it better to forgive your enemies or give them a taste of their own medicine? 9. One of the reasons The Tempest is sometimes considered a comedy is that all the characters are forgiven for their misdeeds. Prospero forgives everyone in the very last scene of the play. Discuss when you think he makes the decision to forgive the characters that have betrayed him. Did those forgiven really repent? Do you think there is a possibility of Prospero being wronged again? Are there any characters that deserve an apology from Prospero? 10. An allegory is defined as a work in which the characters and events are to be understood as representing other things and symbolically expressing a deeper, often spiritual, moral, or political meaning. The Tempest could be an allegory for Shakespeare’s life. At the end of the play, Prospero gives up his book and his staff. This was Shakespeare’s last play. After The Tempest was written he did not write again. What similarities are there between Prospero and Shakespeare? Find four lines that could be interpreted as Shakespeare moralizing about life and the end of his career. 11. Read the essays at the end of this study guide. Do you agree or disagree with the authors. Why? Write your own research paper on a topic that interests you in The Tempest. Study Questions 1. Prospero’s speech to Miranda (1.2) is unusually long. What purpose other than clarifying the narrative background and how the father and daughter came to be on the island, does this section of the scene serve? 2. Compare and contrast Ariel and Caliban. In what ways are they the same? In what ways are they different? 3. Describe the first meeting between Miranda and Ferdinand. How is Ferdinand introduced and what is Miranda’s impression of him? 4. How are the purposes of Antonio and Sebastian thwarted? 5. What was Prospero’s purpose in giving laborious work to Ferdinand? 6. What sort of duke was Prospero before he was overthrown? What sort of duke is he likely to be after he reclaims his dukedom? 7. Nature and society are frequently contrasted in The Tempest, and they occasionally conflict. Trace this theme throughout the course of the play. 8. The Tempest is a play with relatively little action. What are some of the reasons for its contin- ued popularity?
Utah Shakespeare Festival 47 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 9. In Greek mythology, Ceres, who appears in the masque of Act 4, is associated with the concept of rebirth, a return to life, a theme that a number of the characters refer to in their closing speeches. In your opinion, has Shakespeare restored the characters to their former selves, or has he changed or developed them during the course of the play? 10. The epilogue of the play is, in many ways, ambiguous. What are some possible interpreta- tions of its meaning? What do you feel may have been Shakespeare’s reasons for including it? 11. What is symbolized when Prospero breaks his staff and buries his books of magic?
Activities From The Shakespeare Theatre’s First Folio Curriculum Guides Stormy Weather It’s no surprise that a play named The Tempest opens in the middle of a huge storm at sea. But how can a director and a team of designers create that storm onstage? Ask students to brain- storm different ways to present the storm and shipwreck onstage. Then break the class into three groups and assign each a budget—one group has a high school drama club budget, one has a regional theatre budget, and one has a Broadway theatre budget. Each group should develop a concept or proposal for the storm scene, complete with lights, set, sound, props, and costumes, considering their respective budgets. Have each group present their ideas to the class. How does budget affect the staging of the storm? How realistically should the storm be staged? Be a Sound Designer The Tempest is one of Shakespeare’s most sound-heavy plays. Have students read Caliban’s speech: “Be not afeard, the isle is full of noises,/Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not” (3.2.135–136). Then go back and ask students to pick out as many references to sound as they can find, both in the text and in the stage directions. Creating a sound design for a play or movie is an important part of telling the story. What kinds of sounds exist on the island in The Tempest? Ask students to create one sound cue for a moment in the play, using music, voices or found items (recorded or live) to create the sound. How does sound help to tell the story? Ariel and Caliban in Visual Art Ariel and Caliban, two of Shakespeare’s non-human characters, have left much room for interpretations in how they can be portrayed. The nineteenth century produced a number of art- ists who were inspired by Shakespeare and put scenes of his play on canvas. Visit http://www. english.emory.edu/classes/Shakespeare_Illustrated/TempestPaintings.html and find a painting depicting Ariel or Caliban from The Tempest. Compare how you expected these characters to look with the artist’s rendering. How do artists take ideas from literature and incorporate them into their own work. Ask students to create their own work of art based on character descriptions. Keep these images in mind when you see the play and compare all three interpretations. Slaves and Servants In The Tempest, Ariel and Caliban both serve Prospero and Miranda. In the Folio version of the play, Caliban is described as a “savage and deformed slave.” Given that Ariel and Caliban
48 Utah Shakespeare Festival 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 are “natives” of he island, what class issues does their relationship to Prospero bring up? What responsibilities does a director have in staging The Tempest for a contemporary audience? Are Ariel and Caliban positive or negative characters? How would you portray them today? How did the director at the Utah Shakespeare Festival portray Caliban and Ariel? The Tempest Themes Create a song, a poem, or a piece of artwork to demonstrate the themes of The Tempest. Apology Letter Apologizing to another person is often a difficult task. Write an apology letter as one of the characters in The Tempest to another character. Are You My Mother? Many female characters in Shakespeare’s later plays grow up never knowing their mothers. Ask students to consider why Shakespeare would make this choice? How would these plays be different if a mother was present? Ask students to rewrite Act 1 Scene 2 of The Tempest, adding a third character—Miranda’s mother. How does the scene change? How might this change affect the rest of the play? Water, Water Everywhere Water imagery abounds in The Tempest and plays a vital role in the events that unfold. Ask students to share all of the ways that water is used in the play. Then ask students to pick one example of water imagery to recreate. They can make a collage, write a poem, use their bod- ies, voices, instruments, or any other form of expression to demonstrate the feeling that water evokes. What To Do After You See This Play Encourage your students to reflect on the play in some of the following ways. We would love to have copies of some of the writings or artwork your students create. 1. Write • Write a play or scene in response to the play. • Improvise a scene with a partner and then write it down. • Write a soliloquy for one of he characters in The Tempest. • Write a scene for two of the characters in the play that you think we should have seen but that was not in Shakespeare’s play. For example, a prologue scene set in Milan between Prospero and his brother Antonio before the coup. • Write an epilogue. For example, what happens to Miranda and Ferdinand after the story ends? How about Trinculo and Stephano? Prospero and Antonio? Brothers King Alonso and Sebastian? • Write a review of the production. 2. Draw • Draw images from the production. • Draw a poster for the production of The Tempest. • Create a collage of images from magazines in response to the play. 3. Create a performance of scenes from The Tempest.
Utah Shakespeare Festival 49 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 Lesson Plans From A Teacher’s Guide to the Signet Classic Edition of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest Revenge or Mercy To enable students to see personal relevance in the revenge or mercy theme of The Tempest, present the class with a problem situation such as the one below. Have them free write their responses and then share their reactions in pairs or small groups. Lead a whole class discussion using the students’ responses or asking students to take a stand about the way they would act in the situation: take revenge or be forgiving. You have been elected president of the Student Council during the last elec- tion, buy your brother betrays you. Because you are very involved with your studies, you allow your brother, who is vice president of the Student Council, to take most of your duties. He seems to enjoy the work, and this allows you to be free to really get into your multimedia and English classes. But you also enjoy the status of being president, and you make sure that the work of the council is being done. However, early in the spring semester, your brother engineers your downfall. He goes to the faculty advisor with whom he is friendly and enlists his help in deposing you. At a council meeting, the advisor charges you with dereliction of duty and kicks you out of office. He installs your brother as president. Hurt and aggrieved, you withdraw within yourself and reflect on what has happened to you. Through reflection, meditation, and study of the classics, you develop pow- ers that you did not know you had before. Also, you discover an audio tape you had been using to record environmental noise for your multimedia class somehow picked up the conversation of your brother and the advisor when they plotted to force you out. When the activity bus breaks down on a field trip that the council officers and the advisors are taking, you offer the two a ride to get help. They are stunned when you put the tape in your player and play back their conversation to them. You have them in your power. Now you have a choice. Do you go for vengeance, get the advisor fired and your brother publicly dishon- ored and maybe suspended from school? Or do you go for mercy, forgive your brother and the advisor and have the advisor reinstate you as president and your brother as vice president? What would have to happen before you could feel merciful to your brother? Utopias While for most Europeans the new American colonies represented vast economic advan- tages, at least some thinkers saw the new lands as an opportunity to experiment in forms of gov- ernment and social systems, to overcome some of the failures of the past. Shakespeare alludes to this utopian urge in the speeches of Gonzalo. To help students understand the utopian theme, have them do the following: 1. Describe the world you would create if you were given the chance to design an “ideal” society. 2. Compare your ideas to Gonzalo’s description of an ideal commonwealth in Act 2.1.148–168. What do you think of his vision? Have you used any of these features in the world you described? Would such a state be able to survive? How would success be defined in this
50 Utah Shakespeare Festival 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 world? What would keep people from competing? 3. Role play: How would it feel to live in the utopia described by yourself or Gonzalo? To prepare for the role play, make a list of the positive and negative aspects of life in an ideal state. Then with two other students, prepare a scene from the daily life of your utopia. Create a dialogue for the scene which suggests some positive and negative aspects of the life. 4. Read another piece of utopian literature, such as the following (the entire book, or a short selec- tion: • Animal Farm by George Orwell • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley • Candide by Voltaire • The Giver by Lois Lowry • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood • Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman • Lord of the Flies by William Golding • 1984 by George Orwell • The Republic by Plato • The Time Machine by H. G. Wells • Utopia by Sir Thomas More The selection can be short, such as the description of Candide’s journey to El Dorado or More’s description of the daily life of the people in Utopia. Ask: What elements do these writings have in common with Gonzalo’s speech? Are you aware of similar attempts to create ideal communities in the modern world? What is the impulse behind such communities? Why do they so often fail? Do these writers intend for these ideas to be a blue- print for a community, or do they have some other purpose in mind?
Additional Resources ArtsEdge http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/ ArtsEdge offers free, standards-based teaching materials for use in and out of the classroom, as well as professional development resources, student materials, and guidelines for arts-based instruction and assessment. Utah Shakespeare Festival Education Website http://www.bard.org/education.html Expand your horizons, your outlook, your understanding with our myriad of educational resources, not just for students, but for students of life. ProjectExplorer, Ltd. http://www.projectexplorer.org/ ProjectExplorer, Ltd. is a not-for-profit organization that provides an interactive global learning experience to the kindergarten through twelfth grade community. Providing users globally the opportunity to explore the world from their own computer, it is a free, all-inclusive site that uses story-based learning to spark students’ imaginations. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare http://shakespeare.met.edu/ The web’s first edition of the complete works of William Shakespeare. This site has offered
Utah Shakespeare Festival 51 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880 Shakespeare’s plays and poetry to the internet community since 1993. Downloadable plays are available by scene or in their entirety. Absolute Shakespeare http://absoluteshakespeare.com/ Absolute Shakespeare provides resources for William Shakespeare’s plays, sonnets, poems, quotes, biography and the legendary Globe Theatre. Absolute Shakespeare also offers a review of each character’s role in each play including defining quotes and character motivations for all major characters. Royal Shakespeare Company http://www.rsc.org.uk/learning/Learning.aspx This site provides resources materials for teachers and students from Royal Shakespeare Company. Folger Shakespeare Library http://www.folger.edu/ The Folger Shakespeare Library, located on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., is a world-class research center on Shakespeare and on the early modern age in the West. It is home to the world’s largest and finest collection of Shakespeare materials and to major collections of other rare Renaissance books, manuscripts, and works of art. Digital Resources The Tempest—2010 film directed by Julie Taymor, Touchstone Pictures. Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Starring Helen Mirren, Felicity Jones, Ben Whishaw • Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOOdxnv4Ik8 Wishbone: “Shakespaw”—by PBS • Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MsSMBrkHWI • Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FRR3VM6528 • Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSdSYcr_i8M Shakespeare Summarized: The Tempest by Overly Sarcastic Productions • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lq2YEqSZo54
52 Utah Shakespeare Festival 351 West Center Street • Cedar City, Utah 84720 • 435-586-7880